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Purchased with the 

Income of the 

Helen O. Storrow Fund 







MOODY PRESS • Chicago 

Copyright O, 1922, by 

Tbe Moody Bible Instituts 

OF Chicago 

Printed in the United States of America 




Introduction 5 

1. Creation and Restoration 9 

2. Christ in Genesis 1 20 

3. Two Trees 27 

4. The Fall 33 

5. The Fall, continued 41 

6. The Fall, concluded 47 

7. Cain and Abel 56 

8. Cain and Abel, continued 63 

9. Enoch 72 

>X 10. Noah 80 

11. The Flood 88 

12. Noah a Type of Christ 96 

i 13. The Typology of the Ark 103 

14. God's Covenant with Noah 110 

15. Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 119 

16. Nimrod and the Tower of Babel 129 

17. The Call of Abraham 136 

18. Abraham and Lot 147 

19. Abraham and Melchizedek 155 

20. Abraham's Vision 164 

21. Abraham and Hagar 173 

v^ 22. Abraham at Ninety and Nine 181 

^ 23. Abraham at Gerar 191 





24. Abraham "the Father of us all" 198 

25. The Birth of Isaac 207 

26. The Offering Up of Isaac 218 

27. The Man Isaac 228 

28. Isaac Blessing His Sons 237 

29. The Man Jacob 245 

SO. Jacob at Padan-Aram 254 

31. Jacob at Padan-Aram, continued 262 

32. Jacob's Departure from Haran 271 

33. Jacob at Mahanaim 280 

34. Jacob at Peniel 286 

35. Jacob Meeting Esau 295 

36. Jacob at Bethel Again 302 

37. The Sunset of Jacob's Life 309 

38. Jacob's Prophecy 318 

39. Jacob's Prophecy, continued 329 

40. Joseph As a Youth 341 

41. Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 353 

42. Joseph in Egypt 362 

43. Joseph's Exaltation 372 

44. Joseph the Saviour of the World 381 

45. Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally 

Considered 390 

46. Joseph and His Brethren, Evangelically 

Considered 400 


Appropriately has Genesis been termed ^Hhe seed plot 
of the Bible, " for in it we have, in germ form, almost all of 
the great doctrines which are afterwards fully developed 
in the books of Scripture which f oUow, 

In Genesis Ood is revealed as the Creator-God, as the 
Covenant-God, as the Almighty-God, as well as ^Hhe Most 
High, Possessor of heaven and earth. ' ' 

In Genesis we have the first hint of the Blessed Trinity, 
of a plurality of Persons in the Godhead — ^'^Let us make 
man in our image'' (1:26). 

In Genesis man is exhibited. First as the creature of 
God's hands, then as a fallen and sinful being, and later as 
one who is brought back to God, finding grace in His sight 
(6:8), walking with God (6:9), made ''the friend of 
Gk)d" (James 2: 23). 

In Genesis the utiles of Satan are exposed. We ''are not 
ignorant of his devices," for here the Holy Spirit has fully 
uncovered them. The realm in which the arch-enemy works 
is not the moral but the spiritual. He calls into question 
the Word of Gfod, casts doubt on its integrity, denies its 

In Genesis the truth of sovereign election is first exhib- 
ited. God singles out Abraham from an idolatrous people, 
and makes him the father of the chosen Nation. Gk)d passes 
by Ishmael and calls Isaac. 

In Genesis the truth of salvation is typically displayed. 
Our fallen first parents are clothed by Gk>d Himself, clothed 
with skins: to procure those skins death had to come in, 
blood must be shed, the innocent was slain in the stead of 
the guilty. Only thu^ could man's shame be covered, and 
only thus could the sinner be fitted to stand before the 
thrice holy God. 

In Genesis the truth of justification hy faith is first made 
known : ' ' And he believed in the Lord ; and He counted it 
to him for righteousness " (15:6). Abraham believed God : 
not Abraham obeyed God, or loved Gk)d, or served Qod; 
but Abraham believed Gk>d. And it was counted unto him 

6 Gleanings in Genesis 

for (not instead of, but unto) righteousness. Then, if 
righteousness was '^counted" unto Abraham, he had none 
of his own. Believing Gk>d, righteousness was reckoned to 
Abraham's account. 

In Genesis the heliever's security is strikingly illustrated. 
The flood of Divine judgment descends on the earth, and 
swallows up all its guilty inhabitants. But Noah, who had 
found grace in the eyes of the Lord, was safely preserved in 
the ark, into which God had shut him. 

In Genesis the truth of separation is clearly inculcated. 
Enoch 's lot was cast in days wherein evil abounded, but he 
lived apart from the world, walking with Qod. Abraham 
was called upon to separate himself from idolatrous Chal- 
dea, and to step out upon the promises of Gk)d. Lot is held 
up before us as a solemn example of the direful conse- 
quences of being unequally yoked with unbelievers, and of 
having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. 

In Genesis Qod 's disciplinary chastisements upon an err- 
ing beUever are portrayed. Jacob is the standing example 
of what happens to a child of God who walks after the 
flesh, instead of after the spirit. But in the end we are 
shown how Divine grace triumphs over human frailty. 

In Genesis we are shown the importance and value of 
prayer. Abraham prayed unto Qod and Abimelech's life 
was spared (20: 17). Abraham's servant cries to the Lord 
that God would prosper his efforts to secure a wife for 
Isaac, and God answered his petition (chap. 24). Jacob, 
too, prays, and God hearkened. 

In Genesis the saint's rapture to heaven is vividly por- 
trayed. Enoch, the man who walked with Gk)d, '*was not," 
for Gk>d had translated him. He did not pass through the 
portals of death. He was suddenly removed from these 
scenes of sin and suffering and transported into the realm 
of glory without seeing death. 

In Genesis the divine incarnation is first declared. The 
Coming One was to be supernaturally begotten. He was to 
enter this world as none other ever did. He was to be the 
Son of Man, and yet have no human father. The One who 
should bruise the serpent's head was to be the woman's 

In Genesis the death and resurrection of the Saviour are 
strikingly foreshadowed. The ark, in which were pre- 

Introduction 7 

served Noah and his family, were brought safely through 
the deluge of death on to the new earth. Isaac, the beloved 
son of Abraham, at the bidding of his father, is laid, unre- 
sistingly, on the altar, and from it Abraham '^received him 
back as in a figure from the dead." 

In Genesis we also learn of the Saviour's coming exalta- 
tion. This is strikingly typified in the history of Joseph — 
the most complete of all the personal types of Christ — ^who, 
after a period of humiliation and suffering was exalted to 
be the governor over all Egypt. Jacob, too, on his death- 
bed, also declares of Shiloh that * * unto him shall the gather- 
ing of the peoples be*' (49 : 10). 

In Genesis the priesthood of Christ is anticipated. The 
Lord Jesus is a Priest not of the Aaronic system, but ' ' after 
the order of Melchzedek." And it is in Genesis that this 
mysterious character, who received tithes from and blessed 
Abraham, is brought before our view. 

In Genesis the coming Antichrist is announced, an- 
nounced as *Hhe seed of the serpent" (3 : 15). He is seen, 
too, foreshadowed in the person and history of Nimrod, the 
rebel against the Lord, the man who headed the first great 
federation in open opposition to the Most High. 

In Genesis we first read of God giving Palestine to Abra- 
ham and to his seed: ^'And the Lord appeared unto 
Abraham, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land'' 
(12:7). And again, ^'For all the land which thou seest, 
to thee ¥dll I give it, and to thy seed forever" (13 : 15). 

In Genesis the wondrous future of Israel is made known. 
''And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth : so that 
if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy 
seed also be numbered" (13 : 16). ^' And in thy seed shall 
all the nations of the earth be blessed" (22 : 18). 

In Genesis the judgment of God on the wicked is solemnly 
exhibited. Cain confesses his punishment is greater than he 
can bear. The flood comes on the world of the ungodly and 
sweeps them all away. Fire and brimstone descend on 
Sodom and Gomorrah, till naught but their ashes remain. 
Lot's wife, for one act of disobedience, is turned into a 
pillar of salt. 

What a marvelous proof is all this of the Divine Author- 
ship! Who bnt the One who knows the end from the be- 
ginning, could have embodied, in germ form, what is after- 

8 Gleanings in Genesis 

wards expanded and amplified in the rest of the Bible t 
What unequivocal demonstration that there was One super* 
intending mind, directing the pens of all who wrote the later 
books of Holy Scripture I May the blessing of God rest 
upon us as we seek to enjoy some of the inexhaustible riches 
of this book of beginnings. 

Abthub W. Pink. 
Swengel, Pa. 


Genesis 1 

The manner in which the Holy Scriptures open is worthy 
of their Divine Author. **In the beginning God created 
the heaven and the earth," and that is all that is here re- 
corded concerning the original creation. Nothing is said 
which enables us to fix the date of their creation ; nothing 
is revealed concerning their appearance or inhabitants; 
nothing is told us about the modiis operandi of their Divine 
Architect. We do not know whether the primitive heaven 
and earth were created a few thousands, or many millions 
of years ago. We are not informed as to whether they were 
called into existence in a moment of time, or whether the 
process of their formation covered an interval of long ages. 
The bare fact is stated : * * In the beginning God created, ' ' 
and nothing is added to gratify the curious. The opening 
sentence of Holy Writ is not to be philosophized about, but 
is presented as a statement of truth to be received with un- 
questioning faith. 

**In the beginning God created." No argument is en- 
tered into to prove the existence of God : instead, His exist- 
ence is affirmed as a fact to be believed. And yet, sufficient 
is expressed in this one brief sentence to expose every fal- 
lacy which man has invented concerning the Deity. This 
opening sentence of the Bible repudiates atheism, for it 
I>ostulates the existence of God. It refutes materialism, for 
it distinguishes between God and His material creation. It 
abolishes pantheism, for it predicates that which necessitates 
a personal God. ''/n the beginning God created," tells us 
that He was Himself before the beginning, and hence, Eter- 
nal. **In the beginning God created,' ' and that informs us 
He is a personal being, for an abstraction, an impersonal 
*' first cause," could not create. **In the beginning God 
Ci-eated the heaven and the earth,'' and that argues He is 
infijiite and omnipotent, for no finite being possesses the 
power to "create," and none but an Omnipotent Being 
could create * ' the heaven and the earth. ' ' 

10 Gleanings in Genesis 

**In the beginning God." This is the foundation truth 
of all real theology. God is the great Originator and Ini- 
tiator. It is the ignoring of this which is the basic error 
in all human schemes. False systems of theology and phil- 
osophy begin with man, and seek to work up to God. But 
this is a turning of things upside down. We must, in all 
our thinking, begin with God, and work down to man. 
Again, this is true of the Divine inspiration of the Scrip^ 
tures. The Bible is* couched in human language, it is ad- 
dressed to human ears, it was written by human hands, but, 
in the beginning God— ^^ holy men of God spake, moved by 
the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21). This is also true of sal- 
vation. In Eden, Adam sinned, and brought in death ; but 
his Maker was not taken by surprise : in the beginning God 
had provided for just such an emergency, for, * * the Lamb ' ' 
was ''foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 
Pet. 1 : 20) . This is also true of the new creation. The soul 
that is saved, repents, believes, and serves the Lord; but, 
in the beginning, God chose us in Christ (Eph. 1:4), and 
now, **we love Him, because He first loved us." 

**In the beginning God created the heaven and the 
earth, * * and we cannot but believe that these creations were 
worthy of Himself, that they reflected the perfections of 
their Maker, that they were exceedingly fair in their pris- 
tine beauty. Certainly, the earth, on the morning of its 
creation, must have been vastly different from its chaotic 
state as described in Genesis 1:2. ' * And the earth was uuith- 
out form and void'^ must refer to a condition of the earth 
much later than what is before us in the preceding verse. 
It is now over a hundred years ago since Dr. Chalmers 
called attention to the fact that the word * * was ' ' in Genesis 
1 : 2 should be translated *' became," and that between the 
first two verses of Genesis 1 some terrible catastrophe must 
have intervened. That this catastrophe may have been con- 
nected with the apostasy of Satan, seems more than likely ; 
that some catastrophe did occur is certain from Isa. 45 : 18, 
which expressly declares that the earth was not created in 
the condition in which Genesis 1 : 2 views it. 

What is found in the remainder of Genesis 1 refers not to 
the primitive creation but to the restoration of that which 
had fallen into ruins. Genesis 1 : 1 speaks of the original 
creation ; Genesis 1 : 2 describes the then condition of the 
earth six days before Adam was called into existence. To 

Creation and Restoration 11 

what remote point in time Genesis 1 : 1 conducts us, or as to 
how long an interval passed before the earth ** became" a 
ruin, we have no means of knowing ; but if the surmises of 
geologists could be conclusively established there would be 
no conflict at all between the findings of science and the 
teaching of Scripture. The unknown interval between the 
first two verses of Genesis 1, is wide enough to embrace all 
the prehistoric ages which may have elapsed; but all that 
took place from Genesis 1 : 3 onwards transpired less than 
six thousand years ago. 

^'In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, 
and all that in them is" (Ex. 20 : 11). There is a wide dif- 
ference between ^^ creating" and ^^ making": to ** create" 
is to call into existence something out of nothing; to 
'^make" is to form or fashion something out of materials 
already existing. A carpenter can ''make" a chair out of 
wood, but he is quite unable to "create" the wood itself. 
"In the beginning (whenever that was) God created the 
heaven and the earth"; subsequently (after the primitive 
creation had become a ruin) "the Lord made heaven and 
earth, the sea, and all that in them is." This Exodus 
scripture settles the controversy which has been raised as 
to what kind of "days" are meant in Genesis 1, whether 
days of 24 hours, or protracted periods of time. In "six 
days," that is, literal days of twenty-four hours duration, 
the Lord completed the work of restoring and re-fashioning 
that which some terrible catastrophe had blasted and 
plunged into chaos. 

What follows in the remainder of Genesis 1 is to be re- 
garded not as a poem, still less as an allegory, but as a lit- 
eral, historical statement of Divine revelation. We have lit- 
tle patience with those who labor to show that the teaching 
of this chapter is in harmony with modem science — as well 
ask whether the celestial chronometer is in keeping with the 
timepiece at Greenwich. Rather must it be the part of 
scientists to bring their declarations into accord with the 
teaching of Genesis 1, if they are to receive the respect of 
the children of God. The faith of the Christian rests not in 
the wisdom of man, nor does it stand in any need of buttress- 
ing from scientific savants. The faith of the Christian rests 
upon the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture, and we need 
nothing more. Too often have Christian apologists deserted 
their proper ground. For instance : one of the ancient tab- 

12 Gleanings in Genesis 

lets of Assyria is deciphered, and then it is triumphantly 
announced that some statements found in the historical 
portions of the Old Testament have been confirmed. But 
that is only a turning of things upside down again. The 
Word of God needs no * * confirming. * ' If the writing upon 
an Assyrian tablet agrees with what is recorded in Scrip- 
ture, that confirms the historical accuracy of the Assyrian 
tablet; if it disagrees, that is proof positive that the As- 
syrian writer was at fault. In like manner, if the teachings 
of science square with Scripture, that goes to show the 
former are correct ; if they conflict, that proves the postu- 
lates of science are false. The man of the world, and the 
pseudo-scientist may sneer at our logic, but that only dem- 
onstrates the truth of God's Word, which declares, "but 
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he 
know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 

Marvelouslyconcise is what is found in Genesis 1. A single 
verse suffices to speak of the original creation of the heaven 
and the earth. Another verse is all that is needed to do- 
scribe the awful chaos into which the ruined earth was 
plunged. And less than thirty verses more tell of the six 
dajrs' work, during which the Lord "made heaven and 
earth, the sea, and all that in them is. ' ' Not all the com- 
bined skill of the greatest literary genuii, historians, poets, 
or philosophers this world has ever produced, could design 
a composition which began to equal Genesis 1. For recon- 
diteness of theme, and yet simplicity of language ; for com- 
prehensiveness of scope, and yet terseness of expression; 
for scientific exactitude, and yet the avoidance of all tech- 
nical terms; it is unrivalled, and nothing can be found 
in the whole realm of literature which can be compared 
with it for a moment. It stands in a class all by itself. If 
"brevity is the soul of wit" (i. e. wisdom) then the brevity 
of what is recorded in this opening chapter of the Bible 
evidences the divine wisdom of Him who inspired it. Con- 
trast the labored formulae of the scientists, contrast the 
verbose writings of the poets, contrast the meaningless cos- 
mogonies of the ancients and the foolish m3rthologies of the 
heathen, and the uniqueness of this Divine account of Crea- 
tion and Restoration will at once appear. Every line of 

Creation and Restoration 13 

this opening chapter of Holy Writ has stamped across it 
the autograph of Deity. 

Concerning the details of the six days' work we cannot 
now say very much. The orderly manner in which Gk)d 
proceeded, the ease with which He accomplished His work, 
the excellency of that which was produced, and the sim- 
plicity of the narrative, at once impress the reader. Out 
of the chaos was brought the '' cosmos," which signifies 
order, arrangement, beauty; out of the waters emerged 
the earth; a scene of desolation, darkness and death, was 
transformed into one of light, life, and fertility, so that at 
the end all was pronounced **very good." Observe that 
here is to be found the first Divine Decalogue : ten times we 
read, **and God said, let there 6e," etc. (w. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 
14, 20, 24, 26, 30), which may be termed the Ten Command- 
ments of Creation. 

In the Hebrew there are just seven words in the opening 
verse of Genesis 1, and these are composed of twenty-eight 
letters, which is 7 multiplied by 4. Seven is the number of 
perfection, and four of creation, hence, we learn that the 
primary creation was perfect as it left its Maker's hands. 
U is equally significant that there were seven distinct 
stages in God's work of restoring the earth: first, there 
was the activity of the Holy Spirit (1:2); second, the call- 
ing of light into existence (1:3); third, the making of the 
firmament (1:6-9); fourth, the clothing of the earth with 
vegetation (1:11); fifth, the making and arranging of 
the heavenly bodies (1:14-18) ; sixth, the storing of the 
waters (1:20-21) ; seventh, the stocking of the earth (1: 
24). The perfection of (jk>d's handiwork is further made 
to appear in the seven times the word ' ^ good ' ' occurs here 
— w. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31— also the word ''made" is 
found seven times in this section — 1 : 7, 16, 25, 26, 31 ; 2 : 
2, 3. Seven times ''heaven" is mentioned in this chapter — 
vv. 1, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 20. And, it may be added, that 
"God" Himself is referred to in this opening section (1:1- 
2:4) thirty-five times, which is 7 multiplied by 5. Thus 
the seal of perfection is stamped upon everything Qod 
here did and made. 

Turning from the literal meaning of what is before us 
in this opening chapter of Holy Writ, we would dwell now 
upon that which has often been pointed out by others, 
namely, the typical significance of these verses. The order 

14 Gleanings in Genesis 

followed by God in re-constructing the old creation is the 
same which obtains in connection with the new creation, 
and in a remarkable manner the one is here made to fore- 
shadow the other. The early history of this earth corre- 
sponds with the spiritual history of the believer in Christ. 
What occurred in connection with the world of old, finds 
its counterpart in the regenerated man. It is this line of 
truth which will now engage our attention. 

1. ''/n the beginning Ood created the heaven and the 
earth/' As we have already observed, the original condi- 
tion of this primary creation was vastly different from the 
state in which we view it in the next verse. Coming fresh 
from the hands of their Creator, the heaven and the earth 
must have presented a scene of unequalled freshness and 
beauty. No groans of suffering were heard to mar the 
harmony of the song of ^Hhe morning stars" as they sang 
together (Job 38 : 7). No worm of corruption was there to 
defile the perfections of the Creator's handiwork. No in- 
iquitous rebel was there to challenge the supremacy of 
Ood. And no death shades were there to spread the spirit 
of gloom. God reigned supreme, without a rival, and every- 
thing was very good. 

So, too, in the beginning of this world 's history, Gk>d also 
created man, and vastly different was his original state 
from that into which he subsequently fell. Made in the 
image and likeness of God, provided with a helpmate, placed 
in a small garden of delights, given dominion over all the 
lower orders of creation, ''blessed'* by His Maker, bidden 
to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and 
included in that which God pronounced ''very good," 
Adam had all that heart could desire. Behind him was no 
sinful heredity, within him was no deceitful and wicked 
heart, upon him were no marks of corruption, and around 
him were no signs of death. Together with his helpmate, in 
fellowship with his Maker, there was everything to make 
him happy and contented. . 

2. ^^And the earth became ivithaut form and void; and 
darkness was upon the face of the deep/' Some fearful 
catastrophe must have occurred. Sin had dared to raise 
its horrid head against God, and with sin came death and 
all its attendant evils. The fair handiwork of the Creator 
was blasted. That which at first was so fair was now 
marred, and what was very good became very eviL The 

Creation and Restoration 15 

light was quenched, and the earth was submerged beneath 
the waters of judgment. That which was perfect in the 
beginning became a ruin, and darkness abode upon the 
face of the deep. Profoundly mysterious is this, and un- 
speakably tragic. A greater contrast than what is pre- 
sented in the first two verses of Oenesis 1 can hardly be con- 
ceived. Yet there it is: the primitive earth, created by 
God ''in the beginning/' had become a ruin. 

No less tragic was that which befell the first man. Like 
the original earth before him, Adam remained not in his 
primitive state. A dreadful catastrophe occurred. Descrip- 
tion of this is given in (Genesis 3. By one man sin entered 
the world, and death by sin. The spirit of insubordination 
possessed him; he rebelled against his Maker; he ate of 
the forbidden fruit; and terrible were the consequences 
which followed. The fair handiwork of the Creator was 
blasted. Where before there was blessing, there now de- 
scended the curse. Into a scene of life and joy, entered 
death and sorrow. That which at the first was *'very 
good,'' became very evil. Just as the primitive earth be- 
fore him, so man became a wreck and a ruin. He was sub- 
merged in evil and enveloped in darkness. Unspeakably 
tragic was this, but the truth of it is verified in the heart 
of every descendant of Adam. 

''There was, then, a primary creation, afterward a fall; 
first, 'heaven and earth,' in due order, then earth without 
a heaven — ^in darkness, and buried under a 'deep' of salt 
and barren and restless waters. What a picture of man's 
condition, as fallen away from Ood! How complete the 
confusion! How profound the darkness! How deep the 
restless waves of passion roll over the wreck of what was 
once so fair ! ' The wicked are like the troubled sea, when 
it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt' " (P. 
W. Grant). 

Here, then, is the key to human destiny. Here is the 
cause of all the suffering and sorrow which is in the world. 
Here is the explanation of human depravity. Man is not 
now as God created him. God made man "upright" (Eccl. 
7:9), but he continued not thus. God faithfully warned 
man that if he ate of the forbidden fruit he should surely 
die. And die he did, spiritually. Man is, henceforth, a 
fallen creature. He is bom into this world ' ' alienated from 
the Ufe of God" (Eph. 4:18). He was bom into this 

16 Gleanings in Genesis 

world with a heart that is ^'deceitful above all things, and 
desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9). This is the heritage of 
The Fall. This is the entail of Adam 's transgression. Man 
is a ruined creature, and ' ' darkness, ' ' moral and spiritual, 
rents upon the face of his understanding. (Eph. 4: 18). % 

3. ^^And the spirit of Ood moved upon the face of the 
waters.' ' Here is where hope begins to dawn. God did not 
abandon the primitive earth, which had become a ruin. It 
would not have been surprising, though, if He had. Why 
should God trouble any further about that which lay under 
His righteous judgment? Why should He condescend to 
notice that which was now a desolate waste f Why, indeed. 
But here was where sovereign mercy intervened. He had 
gracious designs toward that formless void. He purposed 
to resurrect it, restore it, ref ructif y it. And the first thing we 
read of in bringing about this desired end was, '^the Spirit 
of God moved upon the face of the waters.*' There was 
Divine activity. There was a movement on the part of the 
Holy Spirit. And this was a prime necessity. How could 
the earth resurrect itself f How could that which lay 
under the righteous judgment of God bring itself into the 
place of blessing? How could darkness transform itself 
into life t In the very nature of the case it could not. The 
ruined creation was helpless. If there was to be restoration, 
and a new creation, Divine power must intervene, the Spirit 
of God must * ' move. ' ' 

The analogy holds good in the spiritual realm. Fallen 
man had no more claim upon God's notice than had the 
desolated primitive earth. When Adam rebelled against 
his Maker, he merited naught but unsparing judgment at 
His hands, and if God was inclined to have any further re- 
gard for him, it was due alone to sovereign mercy. What 
wonder if God had left man to the doom he so richly de- 
served! But no. God had designs of grace toward him. 
From the wreck and ruin of fallen humanity, God pur- 
posed to bring forth a * * new creation. ' ' Out of the death 
of sin, God is now bringing on to resurrection ground all 
who are united to Christ His Son. And the first thing in 
bringing this about is the activity of the Holy Spirit. And 
this, again, is a prime necessity. Fallen ifian, in himself, 
is as helpless as was the fallen earth. The sinner can no 
more regenerate himself than could the ruined earth lift 
itself out of the deep which rested upon it. The new ere- 

Creation and Restoration 17 

ation, like the restoration of the material creation, must 
be accomplished by God Himself. 

4. ''And Ood said, let there he light, and there was 
light.** First the activity of the Holy Spirit and now the 
spoken Word. No less than ten times in this chapter do we 
read ''and Ood said." God might have refashioned and 
refurnished the earth without speaking at all, but He did 
not. Instead, He plainly intimated from the beginning, 
that His purpose was to be worked out and His counsels 
accomplished by the Word. The first thing God said was, 
"Let there be light," and we read, "There was light." 
Light, then, came in, was produced by, the Word. And 
then we are told, ' ' God saw the light, that it was good. ' * 

It is so in the work of the new creation. These two are 
inseparably joined together — ^the activity of the Spirit and 
the ministry of the Word of God. It is by these the man 
in Christ became a new creation. And the initial step to- 
ward this was the entrance of light into the darkness. The 
entrance of sin has blinded the eyes of man 's heart and has 
darkened his understanding. So much so that, left to him- 
self, man is unable to perceive the awf ulness of his condi- 
tion, the condemnation which rests upon him, or the peril 
in which he stands. Unable to see his urgent need of a 
Saviour, he is, spiritually, in total darkness. And neither 
the affections of his heart, the reasonings of his mind, nor 
the power of his will, can dissipate this awful darkness. 
Light comes to the sinner through the Word applied by the 
Spirit. As it is written, "the entrance of Thy words giveth 
light" (Psa. 119:130). This marks the initial step of 
Gk>d 's work in the soul. Just as the shining of the light in 
Genesis 1 made manifest the desolation upon which it shone, 
so the entrance of God 's Word into the human heart reveals 
the awful ruin which sin has wrought. 

5. "And God divided the light from the darkness.** 
Heb. 4 : 12 tells us, the Word of God is quick, and powerful, 
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the 
dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and 
marrow, and is a discemer of the thoughts and intents of 
the heart. ' ' This is not a figurative expression but, we be- 
lieve, a statement of literal fact. Man is a tripartite being, 
made up of "spirit and soul and body" (1 Thess. 5:23). 
The late Dr. Pierson distinguished between them thus: 

The spirit ifi capable of Gk)d-consciousness ; the soul is 


18 Gleanings in Genesis 

the seat of self -consciousness ; the body of sense-conscious- 
ness. ' ' In the day that Adam sinned, he died spiritually. 
Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the 
body ; spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from 
God. When Adam died, his spirit was not annihilated,* 
but it was ' ' alienated ' ' from God. There was a fall. The 
spirit, the highest part of Adam 's complex being, no longer 
dominated; instead, it was degraded, it fell to the level 
of the soul, and ceased to function separately. Hence, to- 
day, the unregenerate man is dominated by his soul, which 
is the seat of lust, passion, emotion. But in the work of 
regeneration, the Word of God * * pierces even to the divid- 
ing asunder of soul and spirit," and the spirit is rescued 
from the lower level to which it has fallen, being brought 
back again into communion with God. The '* spirit'' being 
that part of man which is capable of communion with God, 
is light; the ''soul" when it is not dominated and regulated 
by the spirit is in darkness, hence, in that part of the six 
days' work of restoration which adumbrated the dividing 
asunder of soul and spirit, we read, * ' And God divided the 
light from the darkness." 

6. ^^And God said, let there he a firmament in the midst 
of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters 
. . . .and Ood called the firmament heaven*^ (Gen. 1:6, 8). 
This brings us to the second days work, and here, for the 
first time, we read that **God made" something (1:7). 
This was the formation of the atmospheric heaven, the 
''firmament," named by God "heaven." That which cor- 
responds to this in the new creation, is the impartation of 
a new nature. The one who is ' ' born of the Spirit ' ' becomes 
a "partaker of the Divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4). Regen- 
eration is not the improvement of the flesh, or the cultiva- 
tion of the old nature ; it is the reception of an altogether 
new and heavenly nature. It is important to note that 
the "firmament" was produced by the Word, for, again 
we read, ' ' And God said. " So it is by the written Word of 
God that the new birth is produced, ' ' Of His own will begat 
He us with the Word of truth'^ (James 1 : 18). And again, 
"being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incor- 
ruptible, hy the Word of God'' {1 Pet. 1 : 23). 

7. *^And God said, Let the waters under the heaven he 
gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land ap- 
pear: and it was so. And God said. Let the earth hriny 

Creation and Restoration 19 

forth grass, the herh yielding seed, and the fruit tree yield- 
ing fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself^' (Gen. 1: 
9-11). These verses bring before us God's work on the 
third day^ and in harmony with the meaning of this nu- 
meral we find that which clearly speaks of resurrection. 
The earth was raised out of the waters which had sub- 
merged it, and then it was clothed with vegetation. Where 
before there was only desolation and death, life and fertility 
now appeared. So it is in regeneration. The one who was 
dead in trespasses and sins, has been raised to walk in new- 
ness of life. The one who was by the old creation *'in 
Adam," is now by new creation *4n Christ.*' The one 
who before produced nothing but dead works, is now fitted 
to bring forth fruit to the glory of God. 

And here we must conclude. Much has been left un- 
touched, but sufficient has been said, we trust, to show that 
the order followed by Gk)d in the six days ' work of restora- 
tion, foreshadowed His work of grace in the new creation : 
that which He did of old in the material world, typified 
His present work in the spiritual realm. Every stage was 
accomplished by the putting forth of Divine power, and 
everything was produced by the operation of His Word. 
May writer and reader be more and more subject to that 
Word, and then shall we be pleasing to Him and fruitful 
in His service. 


In our first meditation upon this wonderful book of be- 
ginnings we pointed out some of the striking analogies 
which exist between the order followed by Qocl in His work 
of creation and His method of procedure in the ''new cre- 
ation," the spiritual creation in the believer. First, there 
was darkness, then the action of the Holy Spirit, then the 
word of power going forth, and then light as the result, and 
later resurrection and fruit. There is also a striking fore- 
shadowment of God's great dispensational dealings with 
our race, in this record of His work in the six days, but as 
this has already received attention from more capable pens 
than ours, we pass on to still another application of this 
scripture. There is much concerning Christ in this first 
chapter of Genesis if only we have eyes to see, and it is the 
typical application of Genesis 1 to Christ and His work 
we would here direct attention. 

Christ is the key which unlocks the golden doors into the 
temple of Divine truth. ** Search the Scriptures,*' is His 
command, ''for they are they which testify of Afc." And 
again, He declares, ' ' In the volume of the Book it is written 
of Me. " In every section of the written Word the Personal 
Word is enshrined — ^in Genesis as much as in Matthew. 
And we would now submit that on the frontispiece of Di- 
vine Revelation we have a typical programme of the entire 
Work of Redemption. 

In the opening statements of this chapter we discover, in 
type, the great need of Redemption. "In the beginning 
God created the heavens and the earth.'* This carries us 
back to the primal creation which, like everything else that 
comes from the hand of God, must have been perfect, beau- 
tiful, glorious. Such also was the original condition of man. 
Made in the image of his Creator, endowed with the breath 
of Elohim, he was pronounced "very good." 

But the next words present a very different picture — 
"And the earth was without form and void," or, as the 
original Hebrew might be more literally translated, "The 
earth became a ruin." Between the first two verses in 
Genesis 1 a terrible calamity occurred. Sin entered the 


Christ in Genesis 1 21 

universe. The heart of the mightiest of all God 's creatures 
was filled with pride — Satan had dared to oppose the will 
of the Almighty. The dire effects of his fall reached to our 
earth, and what was originally created by God fair and 
beautiful, became a ruin. Again we see in this a striking 
analogy to the history of man. He too fell. He also be- 
came a ruin. The effects of his sin likewise reached beyond 
himself — ^the generations of an unborn humanity being 
curst as the result of the sin of our first parents. 

*'And darkness was upon the face of the deep." Dark- 
ness is the opposite of light. God is light. Darkness is the 
emblem of Satan. Well do these words describe the natural 
condition of our fallen race. Judicially separated from 
God, morally and spiritually blind, experimentally the 
slaves of Satan, an awful pall oif darkness rests upon the 
entire mass of an unregenerate humanity. But this only 
furnishes a black background upon which can be displayed 
the glories of Divine Grace. ** Where sin abounded grace 
did much more abound." The method of this ^^ abounding 
of grace" is, in type, outlined in God's work during the 
six days. In the work of the first four days we have a 
most remarkable foreshadowment of the four great stages 
in the Work of Redemption. We cannot now do much 
more than call attention to the outlines of this marvellous 
primitive picture. But as we approach it, to gaze upon it 
in awe and wonderment, may the Spirit of Gk>d take of the 
things of Christ and show them unto us. 

/. In the first day's work the Divine Incarnation is typi- 
cally set forth. 

If fallen and sinful men are to be reconciled to the thrice 
holy God what must be done f How can the infinite chasm 
separating Deity from humanity be bridged? What lad- 
der shall be able to rest here upon earth and yet reach right 
into heaven itself? Only one answer is possible to these 
questions. The initial step in the work of human redemp- 
tion must be the Incarnation of Deity. Of necessity this 
must be the starting point. The Word must become flesh. 
God Himself must come right down to the very pit where 
a ruined humanity helplessly lies, if it is ever to be lifted 
out of the miry clay and transported to heavenly places. 
The Son of God must take upon Himself the form of a serv- 
ant and be made in the likeness of men. 

22 Gleanings in Genesis 

Tins is precisely what the first day's work typifies in its 
foreshadowment of the initial step in the Work of Bedemp- 
tion, namely, the Incarnation of the Divine Redeemer. 
Notice here five things. 

First, there is the work of the Holy Spirit. **And the 
Spirit of God moved (Heb. * brooded') upon the face of the 
waters" (v. 2). So also was this the order in the Divine 
Incarnation. Concerning the mother of the Saviour we 
read, ''And the angel answered and said unto her, The 
Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the 
Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy 
thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son 
of God'' (Luke 1:35). 

Second, the word issues forth as light. ^'And God said 
(the word) let there be light and there was light" (v. 3), 
So also as soon as Mary brings forth the Holy Child 
''The glory of the Lord shone round about" the shepherds 
on Bethlehem's plains (Luke 2:9).- And when He is pre- 
sented in the temple, Simeon was moved by the Holy Spirit 
to say, "For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which 
Thou hast prepared before the face of all people : a light to 
lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. ' ' 

Third, the light is approved by God. ' ' And God saw the 
light, that it was good'' (v. 4). We cannot now enlarge 
much upon the deep typical import of this statement, but 
would remark in passing that the Hebrew word here trans- 
lated "good" is also in (Eccl, 3: 11) rendered "beautiful" 
— ^"He hath made everything beautiful in his time." God 
saw that the light was good, beautiful! How obvious is 
the application to our incarnate Lord! After His advent 
into this world we are told that "Jesus increased in wis- 
dom and stature and in favor with God and man" (Luke 
2:52), and the first words of the Father concerning Him 
were, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased/' 
Yes, good and beautiful was the light in the sight of the 
Father. How blind was man that he should see in Him no 
beauty that he should desire Him ! 

Fourth, the light was separated from the darkness. "And 
God divided the light from the darkness" (v. 4). How 
jealously did the Holy Spirit guard the types ! How care- 
ful is He to call our attention to the immeasurable differ- 
ence between the Son of Man and the sons of men ! Though 
in His infinite condescension He saw fit to share our hu- 

Christ in Genesis 1 23 

inanity, yet He shared not our depravity. The light of 
Christ was divided from the darkness (fallen humanity). 
^'For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, 
undefiled, separate from sinners'^ (Heb. 7 : 26), 

Fifth, the light was named hy Ood. ''And God called 
the light Day" (v. 5). So also was it with Him who is the 
Light of the world. It was not left to Joseph and Mary to 
select the name for the Holy Child. Of old the prophet had 
declared, '' Listen, O isles unto me; and hearken, ye peo- 
ple, from far; the Lord hath called Me from the womb; 
from the hawels of My mother hath He made mention of My 
name'' (Isa. 49:1). And in fulfilment thereof, while yet 
in His mother's womb, an angel is sent by God to Joseph, 
saying, ''And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt 
call His name Jesus. *' 

//• In the second day's work the Cross of Christ is typi- 
cally set forth. 

"What was the next thing necessary in the accomplish- 
ment of the Work of Redemption f The Incarnation by it- 
self would not meet our need. "Except a corn of wheat 
fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone : but if it die, 
it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24). The In- 
carnate Christ reveals the spotless and perfect life which 
alone meets the Divine mind, but it helps not to bridge the 
awful gulf between a holy God and a ruined sinner. For 
this, sin must put away, and that cannot be done except 
death comes in. "For without shedding of blood is no 
remission." The Lamb of God must be slain. The Holy 
One must lay down His life. The Cross is the only place 
where the righteous claims of God 's throne can be met. 

And in the second day 's work this second step in the ac- 
plishment of human redemption is typically set forth. The 
prominent thing in this second day's work is division, sep- 
aration, isolation. ' ' And God said. Let there be a firmament 
in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from 
the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the 
waters which were under the firmament from the waters 
which were above the firmament: and it was so" (vs. 6-7). 
It is striking to note here that there is a twofold division. 
First there is a firmament in the midst of the waters and 
this firmament divides the waters from the waters, and 
secondly, the firmament divided the waters which were 

24 Gleanings in Genesis 

under it from those which were above it. Wc believe that 
the * * firmament ' ' here typifies the Cross, and sets forth its 
twofold aspect. There our blessed Lord was divided or 
separated from God Himself — ^''My God, My Gk)d, why hast 
Thou forsaken Mef"; and there also He was separated 
from man — ^^Cut off out of the land of the living.'' 

That the '^firmament" here does foreshadow the Cross 
seems to be clearly borne out by the marvellous analogy be- 
tween what is here told us concerning it and its typical 
agreement with the Cross of Christ. Observe four things. 

First, the firmament was purposed by (xod before it was 
actually made. In verse 6 it reads, ^'And God said let 
there he a firmament,'* and in verse 7, '* And Gk>d made the 
firmament." How perfect is the agreement between type 
and antitype I Long, long before the Cross was erected on 
Golgotha's heights, it was purposed by God. Christ was 
*'The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 

Second, the firmament was set in the midst of the waters. 
It is well known to Bible students that in Scripture 
*' waters" symbolize peoples, nations (cf. Rev. 17:15). In 
its typical application then, these words would seem to 
signify, * * Let there be a Cross in the midst of the peoples. ' * 
Manifold are the applications suggested by these words. 
Accurate beyond degree is the type. Our minds imme- 
diately turn to the words, ''They crucified Him, and two 
others with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midsf 
(John 19:18). The geographical situation of Calvary is 
likewise a fulfilment : Palestine being practically the cen- 
tre or midst of the earth. 

Third, the firmament divided the waters. So the Cross 
has divided the ** peoples." The Cross of Christ is the 
great divider of mankind. So it was historically, for it 
divided the believing thief from the impotent thief. So it 
has been ever since, and so it is today. On the one hand, 
* ' The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish, foolish- 
ness, ' ' but on the other, * ' unto us which are saved, it is the 
power of God" (1 Cor. 1 : 18). 

Fourth, the firmament was designed hy Ood. **And God 
made the firmament. ' ' So was it announced on the Day of 
Pentecost concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. ' ' Him, being 
delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of 
God" (Acts 2 : 23). So was it declared of old, **It pleased 

Christ in Genesis 1 25 

the Lard to braise Him ; He hath put Him to grief." The 
Cross was of Divine design and appointment. 

Is it not also deeply significant that the words, ''And 
God saw that it was good ' ' are omitted at the close of this 
second day 's work t Had they been included here the type 
would have been marred. The second day's work pointed 
forward to the Cross, and at the Cross God was dealing 
with ^n. There His wrath was being expended on the Just 
One who was dying for the unjust. Though He was with- 
out any sin, yet was He ''made sin for us" and dealt with 
accordingly. Does not then the onUssion here of the usual 
expression "Ood saw that it was good'* assume a deeper 
significance than has been hitherto allowed. 
///. /n the third day's work our Lord's Resurrection is 
typicaUy set forth. 

Our article has already exceeded the limits we originally 
designed, so perforce, we must abbreviate. 

The third thing necessary in the accomplishment of the 
Work of Redemption was the Resurrection of the Crucified 
One. A dead Saviour could not save anyone. "Wherefore 
He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto 
God by Him"; Whyf ''Seeing He ever liveth" (Heb. 

Thus it is in our type. Beyond doubt, that which is fore- 
shadowed on the third day *s work is resurrection. It is in 
the record concerning this third day that we read "Let the 
dry land appear" (v. 9). Previously the earth had been 
submerged, buried beneath the waters. But now the land 
is raised above the level of the seas ; there is resurrection, 
the earth appears. But this is not all. In verse 11 we read, 
"And let the earth bring forth grass, etc." Hitherto death 
had reigned supreme. No life appeared upon the surface 
of the ruined earth. But on the third day the earth is com- 
manded to "bring forth." Not on the second, not on the 
fourth, but on the third day was life seen upon the barren 
earth! Perfect is the type for all who have eyes to see. 
Wonderfully pregnant are the words, ' ' Let the earth bring 
forth" to all who have ears to hear. It was on the third 
day that our Lord rose again from the dead "according to 
the Scriptures." According to what Scriptures? Do we 
not have in these 9th and 11th verses of Genesis 1 the first 
of these scriptures, as well as the primitive picture of our 
Lord 's Resurrection 1 

26 Gleanings in Genesis 

IV. In the fourth day's work our Lord's Ascension is typ* 
icaUy suggested. 

The Resurrection did not complete our Lord's redemp- 
tion work. In order for that He must enter the Heavenly 
Place not made with hands. He must take His seat on the 
right hand of the Majesty on high. He must go ^'into 
heaven itself now to appear in the presence of Gk)d for 
us" (Heb. 9:24). 

Once more we find the type corresponds with the Anti- 
type. In the fourth day 's work our eyes are removed from 
the earth and all its affairs and are turned to the heavens 1 
(See vs. 14-19). As we read these verses and gather some- 
thing of their typical import, do we not hear the Holy 
Spirit saying, '^Seek those things which are above, where 
Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection 
on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:1, 2). 

And as we lift our eyes heavenwards what do we see! 
'^Two great lights^' — ^typically, Christ and His people. The 
sun which speaks to us of ''the Sun of Righteousness" 
(Malachi 4:2), and the moon which tells of Israel and the 
Church (Rev. 12: 1), borrowing its light from, and reflect- 
ing the light of, the sun. And observe their functions. 
First, they are **to give light upon the earth (v. 17), and 
secondly, they are ''to rule over the day and over the night" 
(v. 18). So it is with Christ and His people. During the 
present interval of darkness, the world 's night, Christ and 
His people are "the light of the world," but during the 
Millennium they shall rule and reign over the earth. 

Thus in the first four days' work in Genesis 1, we have 
foreshadowed the four great stages or crises in the accom- 
plishment of the Work of Redemption. The Incarnation, 
the Death, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of our 
blessed Lord are respectively typified. In the light of this 
how precious are those words at the close of the six days' 
work : "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and 
all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended 
His work which He had made ; and He rested on the sev- 
enth day from all His work which He had made" (Gen. 2: 
1, 2). The work of Redemption is completed, and in that 
work God finds His rest! 

As we continue our meditations on the book of Genesis 
may God in His condescending grace reveal unto us "won« 
drous things out of His Law. ' ' 


Genesis 2 

It is not our purpose to give a detailed and exhaustive 
exposition of Genesis, rather shall we attempt to single out 
some of the less obvious treasures from this wonderful mine, 
in which are stored inexhaustible supplies of spiritual 
riches. This first book in the Word of God is full of typical 
pictures, prophetic foreshadowings, and dispensational 
adumbrations, as well as important practical lessons, and it 
will be our delight to call attention to a few of these as we 
pass from chapter to chapter. 

In studying the typical teaching of the Old Testament 
Scriptures we learn from them sometimes by way of con- 
trast and sometimes by way of comparison. A striking il- 
lustration of this double fact is found in the second chapter 
of Genesis. In the ninth verse we read of "The tree of 
knowledge of good and evil. ' ' In Acts 5 : 30 we read, * ' The 
God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and 
hanged on a tree^'; and again in 1 Peter 2 : 24, "Who His 
own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.** Now 
the thoughtful reader will naturally inquire. Why should 
the Cross of our blessed Lord be spoken of as a "tree"t 
Surely there must be some deeper meaning than that which 
appears on the surface. Was it not intended by the Holy 
Spirit that we should refer back to Gen. 2 : 9 and compare 
and contrast these two trees? We believe so, and a quiet 
meditation thereon reveals some remarkable points both of 
comparison and contrast between the tree of knowledge of 
good and evil and the tree on which our Lord was crucified. 
Let us consider some of the points of contrast first. 

1. The first tree was planted by Ood. "And out of the 
ground made the Lord Ood to grow every tree that is pleas- 
ant to the sight and good for food ; the tree of life also in 
the midst of the garden and the Tree of Knowledge of good 
and evil*' (Gen. 2:9). This tree then was planted not by 
Adam, but by Adam's Maker — God. But the second tree, 
the tree to which our Lord was nailed, was planted by man. 
"And they crucified Him" (Mat. 27:35) is the brief but 
terrible record. It was human hands which devised, pro- 
vided and erected that cruel tree on the hill of Calvary. 


28 Gleanings in Genesis 

In marked contrast from the first tree, it was the hands of 
the creature and not the Creator which planted the second 

2. The first tree was pleasant to the eyes. ^'And when 
the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it 
was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make 
one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eaf (Qen. 
3:6). Exactly in what this '^pleasantness" consisted we 
do not know, but the Divine record seems to indicate that 
this tree was an object of beauty and delight. What a 
contrast from the second Tree ! Here everything was hid- 
eous and repellant. The suffering Saviour, the vulgar 
crowd, the taunting priests, the two thieves, the flowing 
blood, the three hours darkness — ^nothing was there to 
please the outward eye. The first tree was ' ' pleasant to the 
eyes," but concerning the One on the second tree it is 
written, ' ' They saw in Him no beauty that they should de- 
sire Him. ' ' 

3. God forbade man to eat of the first tree. ''But of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat 
of it " ( Gen. 2:17). A divine prohibition was placed upon 
the fruit of this tree. But again, how different from the 
second tree I How startling the contrast ! There is no re- 
striction here. In this case man is freely invited to draw 
near and eat of the fruit of this tree. The sinner is bidden 
to "Taste and see that the Lord is good." "All things are 
ready. Come." The position is exactly reversed. Just as 
man was commanded not to eat of the fruit of the first tree, 
he is now commanded to eat of the second. 

4. Because God forbade man to eat of the first tree, Satan 
used every artifice to get man to eat of it. Contrariwise, be- 
cause God now invites men to eat of the second tree, Satan 
uses all his powers to prevent men eating of it. Is not this 
another designed contrast marked out for us by the Holy 
Spirit? Humanly speaking it was solely due to the cun- 
ning and malice of the great enemy of God and man that 
our first parents ate of the forbidden fruit, and can we not 
also say, that it is now primarily due to the subtle devices 
of the old serpent the Devil that sinners are kept from 
eating the fruit of that second tree T 

5. The eating of the first tree brought sin and death 
* ' For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely 
die" (Gen. 2: 17). It was through eating of the fruit of 

Two Trees 29 

this tree that the Curse descended upon our race with all 
its attendant miseries. By eating of the second Tree comes 
life and salvation. ' * Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except 
ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye 
have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh 
my blood, hath eternal life'' (John 6 : 53, 54). Is there not 
in these words of our Lord a latent reference to the history 
of man's fall, and a designed contrast from the first treet 
Just as by the act of ' ' eating ' ' man lost his spiritual life, 
80 by an act of '^eating" man now obtains spiritual and 
eternal life ! 

6. Adam, the thief, through eating of the first tree, was 
turned out of Paradise, while the repentant thief, through 
eating of the second Tree, entered Paradise. We doubt not 
that once again there is a designed antithesis in these two 
things. A thief is connected with both trees, for in eating 
of the forbidden fruit our first parents committed an act 
of theft. Is it not then something more than a coincidence 
that we find a ^Hhief " (yea, two thieves) connected with 
the second Tree alsot And when we note the widely dif- 
ferent experiences of the two thieves the point is even more 
striking. As we have said one was cast out of Paradise (the 
garden), the other was admitted into Paradise, and to say 
the least, it is remarkable that our Lord should employ the 
word ** Paradise" in this connection — the only time He 
ever did use it ! 

Now, briefly, let us consider some of the points of re- 
semblance : 

1. Both trees were planted in a garden. The first in the 
Garden of Eden, the second in a garden which is unnamed. 
**Now in the place where He was crucified there was a gar- 
den** (John 19 : 41). Are we not told this, for one reason, 
in order that we should connect the two trees f Is it not a 
striking point of analogy, that both the first Adam and the 
last Adam died in a ^ ' garden ' ' ! 

2. In connection with both trees we find the words '*in 
the midst. " ' * The tree of life also in the midst of the gar- 
den, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 
2:9). The word '*and" connecting the two trees together 
and intimating their juxtaposition in the midst of the gar- 
den. In like manner we also read concerning our Saviour, 
"They crucified Him, and two others with Him on either 
side one, and Jesus in the midst. *^ 

so Gleanings in Genesis 

3. Both are trees of the Knowledge of Good and EvU. 
Where in all the world, or in all the Scriptures, do we 

learn the knowledge of good and evil as we do at the second 
Tree — the Cross t There we see Goodness incarnate. There 
we behold the Holiness of Gk>d displayed as nowhere else. 
There we discover the unfathomable love and matchless 
grace of Deity unveiled as never before or since. But 
there, too, we also see Evil — see it in all its native hideous- 
ness. There we witness the consummation and climax of 
the creature's wickedness. There we behold as nowhere 
else the vileness, the heinousness, the awfulness of sin as it 
appears in the sight of the thrice holy Ood. Yes, there is 
a designed resemblance as well as a contrast between the 
two trees. The Cross also is the tree of the knowledge of 
good and evil. 

4. Finally, there is another tree beside the one that was 
planted in Eden, of which Genesis 3 : 6 is true, ' ' And when 
the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that 
it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to 
make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat. ' ' 
Ah ! that second Tree is surely ' * good for food, ' ' too. The 
Cross of Christ and all that it stands for, is the very meat 
and marrow of the believer's life. It is '*good" as **food" 
for the soul! And how ** pleasant" it is '*to the eyes" of 
faith ! There we see all our sins blotted out. There we see 
our old man crucified. There we see the ground upon 
which a holy God can meet a guilty sinner. There we see 
the Finished Work of our adorable Redeemer. Truly, it is 
"pleasant to the eyes." And is not this second Tree also 
*'a tree to be desired to make one wise"! Yes ; the preach- 
ing of the Cross is not only the power of God, but **the 
wisdom of God" as well. The knowledge of this second 
Tree makes the sinner *'wise" unto salvation. 

In closing this little meditation we would call attention 
to one or two other scriptures in which a **tree" figures 
prominently. First, from Genesis 3 : 17 we learn that the 
"tree" is linked directly with the Curse: "Because thou 
hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten 
of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt 
not eat of it : cursed is the ground for thy sake ; in sorrow 
shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life." In the light 
of this how significant are the following passages : In Gen- 
esis 40 we have recorded the dreams of the two men who 

Two Trees SI 

were in prison with Joseph. When interpreting the baker's 
dream, Joseph said, '^ Within three days shall Pharaoh lift 
up thy head from off thee, and shalt hang thee on a tree*' 
(Gen. 40: 19). Again, in Joshua 8: 29 we are told, ^'And 
the king of Ai was hanged on a tree until eventide : and as 
soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they 
should take his carcass down from the tree. ' ' Once more, in 
Esther 2 : 23 we read, ^ ' And when inquisition was made of 
the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both 
hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the 
chronicles before the king." What striking illustrations 
are these of what we find in Gal. 3 : 13, ' ' Christ hath re- 
deemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse 
for us : for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth 
on a tree'^t 

''And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of 
Mamre : and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day ; 
And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men 
stood by him: when he saw them, he ran to meet them 
from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground. 
And said. My lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, 
pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant : Let a little 
water, I pray thee, be fetched, and wash your feet, and 
rest yourselves under the tree** (Gen. 18: 1-4). How sug- 
gestive are the last words of this quotation. Why should 
we be told that Abraham invited his three visitors to rest 
** under the tree," unless there is some typical meaning to 
his words? The "tree,** as we have seen, speaks of the 
Cross of Christ, and it is there that "rest'* is to be found. 
An additional point is brought out in the eighth verse of 
Genesis 18 : " And he took butter, and milk, and the calf 
which he had dressed, and set it before them ; and he stood 
by them under the tree, and they did eat.** Eating is the 
symbol of communion, and it was under the tree these three 
men ate : so, it is the Cross of Christ which is the basis and 
ground of our fellowship with God. How striking, too, 
the order here : first, rest under the ' ' tree, ' ' and then eat- 
ing, or fellowship ! 

Finally, how meaningful is Exodus 15:23-25. When 
Israel, at the commencement of their wilderness journey 
reached Marah, ''they could not drink of the waters of 
Marah, for they were bitter." And Moses ** cried unto the 
Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he had 

32 Gleanings in Genesis 

cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet." Com- 
ment is almost needless, the type is so apparent. Here 
again, the ''tree" typifies the Cross of Christ and the 
Christ of the Cross. It was our blessed Lord Who, by going 
down into the place of death, sweetened the bitter waters 
for us. Furthermore, it is only as the believer applies, 
practically, the principle of the Cross to his daily life, that 
the Marahs of our wilderness experiences are transmuted 
into ** waters that are made sweet." To enter into **the 
fellowship of His sufferings," and to be ^^made conformable 
unto His death, ' ' is the highest Christian privilege. 

How remarkable is the order, the progressive order, of 
these passages! First, the ''tree" is seen as the place of 
the curse. Second, the **tree" is seen as the place where 
rest is found. Third, the *'tree" is seen as the ground of 
communion. Fourth, the ''tree" is seen as the prifunple 
of action to the daily life of the believer. 


Genesis 3 

The third chapter in Genesis is one of the most important 
in all the Word of Ood. What has often been said of Gen* 
esis as a whole is peculiarly true of this chapter : it is the 
'^ seed-plot of the Bible." Here are the foundations upon 
which rest many of the cardinal doctrines of our faith. Here 
we trace back to their source many of the rivers of divine 
truth. Here commences the great drama which is being 
enacted on the stage of human history, and which well-nigh 
six thousand years has not yet completed. Here we find the 
Divine explanation of the present fallen and ruined condi- 
tion of our race. Here we learn of the subtle devices of our 
enemy, the Devil. Here we behold the utter powerlessness 
of man to walk in the path of righteousness when divine 
grace is withheld from him. Here we discover the spiritual 
effects of sin — man seeking to flee from God. Here we dis- 
cern the attitude of God toward the guilty sinner. Here we 
mark the universal tendency of human nature to cover its 
own moral shame by a device of man's own handiwork. 
Here we are taught of the gracious provision which God 
has made to meet our great need. Here begins that marvel- 
lous stream of prophecy which runs all through the Holy 
Scriptures. Here we learn that man cannot approach God 
except through a mediator. To some of these deeply im- 
I>ortant subjects we shall now give our attention. 

/. The Fall Itself 

The divine record of the Fall of man is an unequivocal 
refutation of the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution. In- 
stead of teaching that man began at the bottom of the moral 
ladder and is now slowly but surely climbing heavenwards, 
it declares that man began at the top and fell to the bottom. 
Moreover, it emphatically repudiates the modem theory 
about Heredity and Environment. During the last fifty 
years socialistic philosophers have taught that all the ills to 
which man is heir are solely attributable to heredity and 
environment. This conception is an attempt to deny that 
man is a fallen creature and at heart desperately wicked. 


34 Gleanings in Genesis 

We are told that if legislators will only make possible a per- 
fect environment, man will then be able to realize his ideals 
and heredity will be purified. But man has already been 
tested under the most favorable conditions and was found 
wanting. With no evil heredity behind them, our first 
parents were placed in the fairest imaginable environment, 
an environment which God Himself pronounced "very 
good." Only a single restriction was placed upon their 
liberty, but they failed and fell. The trouble with man is 
not external but internal. What he needs most is not a new 
berth, but a new birth. 

A single restriction was placed upon man's liberty, and 
this from the necessity and nature of the case. Mw is a 
responsible being, responsible to serve, obey and glorify 
his Maker. Man is not an independent creature, for he 
did not make himself. Having been created by Qod he 
owes a debt to his Creator. We repeat, man is a respon- 
sible creature, and as such, subject to the Divine govern- 
ment. This is the great fact which Qod would impress upon 
us from the commencement of human history. ' ' But of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of 
if (Gen. 2 : 17). There was no other reason why the fruit 
of this tree should not be eaten save the plain command of 
God. And, as we have sought to show, this command was 
not given arbitrarily in the real meaning of that word, 
but gave emphasis to the relationship in which man stood 
to God. As an intelligent, responsible creature, man is sub- 
ject to the Divine government. But the creature became 
self-seeking, self-centred, self-willed, and as the result he 
disobeyed, sinned, fell. 

The record of the Fall deserves the closest study. Abler 
pens than ours have called attention to the different steps 
which led up to the overt act. First, the voice of the 
tempter was heeded. Instead of saying, * ' Get thee behind 
me, Satan, ' ' Eve quietly listened to the Evil One challeng- 
ing the word of Jehovah. Not only so, but she proceeds to 
parley with him. Next there is a tampering with God's 
Word. Eve begins by adding to what God has said — al- 
ways a fatal course to pursue. *'Ye shall not eat of it, 
neither shall ye touch it/' This last clause was her own 
addition, and Proverbs 30 : 6 received its first exemplifica- 
tion, **Add thou not unto his words, lest He reprove thee, 
and thou be found a liar." Next she proceeded to alter 

The Fall S5 

God 's Word, *^lest ye die. ' ' The sharp point of the Spirit 's 
Sword was blunted. Finally, she altogether omits God's 
solemn threat, **Thou shalt surely die." How true it is 
that ** History repeats itself." God's enemies today are 
treading the same path: His Word is either added to, al- 
tered, or flatly denied. Having forsaken the only source of 
light, the act of transgression became the natural conse- 
quence. The forbidden fruit is now looked upon, desired, 
taken, eaten, and given to her husband. This is ever the 
logical order. Such, in brief, is the Divine account of the 
entry of sin into our world. The vrill of God was resisted, 
the word of God was rejected, the way of God was deserted. 
The Divine record of the Fall is the only possible expla- 
nation of the present condition of the human race. It 
alone accounts for the presence of evil in a world made by a 
beneficent and perfect Creator. It affords the only ade- 
quate explanation for the universality of sin. Why is it 
that the king's son in the palace, and the saint's daughter 
in the cottage, in spite of every safeguard which human 
love and watchfulness can devise, manifest from their 
earliest days an unmistakable bias toward evil and tendency 
to sinf Why is it that sin is universal, that there is no 
empire, no nation, no family free from this awful disease? 
Beject the Divine explanation and no satisfactory answer 
is possible to these questions. Accept it, and we see that 
sin is universal because all share a common ancestry, all 
spring from a common stock, ^ ' In Adam all die. ' ' The Di- 
vine record of the Fall alone explains the mystery of death. 
Man possesses an imperishable soul, why then should he 
diet He had breathed into him the breath of the Eternal 
One, why then should he not live on in this world for eyerf 
Beject the Divine explanation and we face an insoluble 
enigma. Accept it, receive the fact that, **By one man sin 
entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death 
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Bom. 5: 
12), and we have an explanation which meets all the facts 
of the case. 

II. Satan and the Fall 

Here for the first time in Scripture we meet with that 
mysterious personage the Devil. He is introduced without 
any word of explanation concerning his previous history. 
For our knowledge of his creation, his pre-Adamic exist- 

S6 Gleanings in Genesis 

ence, the exalted position which he occupied, and his terri- 
ble fall from it, we are dependent upon other passages, 
notably Isaiah 14 : 12-15, and Ezekiel 28 : 12-19. In the 
chapter now before us we are taught several important les- 
sons respecting our great Adversary. We learn what is 
the sphere of his activities, what the method of his approach 
and what the form of his temptations. And here also we 
learn of the certainty of his ultimate overthrow and de- 

Ck)ntrary to the popular conception, which makes Satan 
the author of the grosser sins of the flesh, and which at- 
tributes to him that which our Lord plainly declared issues 
out of the human heart, we are here informed that the 
sphere of his operations is the religious or spirittcal realm. 
His chief aim is to get between the soul and God, to estrange 
man^s heart from his Maker and inspire confidence instead, 
in himself. He seeks to usurp the place of the Most High 
to make His creatures his own willing subjects and chil- 
dren. His work consists of substituting his own lies in the 
place of divine truth. Genesis 3 gives us a sample of his 
operations and the method he employs. These things are 
written for our learning, for his activities, and the realm 
in which he works are the same today as they were in the 
Garden of Eden. 

The method of Satan's approach was the same then as it 
is now. **Yea hath God saidf He begins by throwing 
doubt on the Divine Word 1 He questions its veracity. He 
suggests that God did not mean what He had said. So it 
is today. Every effort that is being made to deny the 
Divine inspiration of the Scriptures, every attempt put 
forward to set aside their absolute authority, every attack 
on the Bible which we now witness in the name of scholar- 
ship, is only a repetition of this ancient question, ''Tea, 
hath Qod saidf Next, he substitutes his own word for 
God's, '*Ye shall not surely die." We see the same prin- 
ciple illustrated in the first two parables in Matthew 13. 
The Lord Jesus goes forth sowing the seed which is the 
Word of God, and then the Evil One immediately follows 
and sows his tares. And the sad thing is that while men 
refuse to believe the Word of the living Gk)d, yet they are 
sufficiently credulous to accept Satan 's lies. So it was at the 
beginning, and so it has been ever since. Finally, he dares 
to cast reflection upon God's goodness, and to call in ques* 

The Fall S7 

tion His perfections. ''For God doth know that in the day 
ye eat thereof , then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall 
be as gods, knowing good and evil." In other words, the 
Devil here suggests, that Gk>d was despotically withholding 
from man something which would be advantageous to him, 
and he presents as his bait the promise that, if only Eve 
will believe his lie rather than God 's Word she shall be the 
gainer, and the obtainer of a knowledge and wisdom previ- 
ously denied her. The same attraction is being dangled by 
him before the eyes of the devotees of Spiritist and The- 
osophy, but into this we cannot now enter. 

It is to be noted that in the temptation a threefold ap- 
peal was made to Eve corresponding with the tripartite na^ 
ture of the human constitution. ' ' The woman saw that the 
tree was good for food** — appealing to the bodily senses; 
''and that it was pleasant to the eyes" — appealing to the 
desire nature, the emotions, which have their seat in the 
soul; "and a tree to be desired to make one wise*' — ap- 
pealing to the intelligence, which has its centre in the 
spirit (Cf. 1 Cor. 2 : 11). Thus we learn here a deeply im- 
portant fact, namely, that Satan works from vnthout to 
within, which is the very reverse of the Divine operations. 
God begins His work in man's heart, and the change 
wrought there reacts and transforms the outward life. But 
Satan begins with the external and through the bodily 
senses and emotions of the soul works back to the spirit — 
the reason for this being, that normally he has not direct 
access to man's spirit as God has. This same line was fol- 
lowed in reference to our blessed Lord. "Command that 
these stones be made bread" — appealing to the bodily 
senses; "Cast Thyself down" — a challenge to His courage 
or an appeal to the emotional nature of the soul. "Fall 
down and worship me ' ' — an appeal to the spirit, for we wor* 
ship the Father "in spirit and in truth. 


///. The Fall and Man 

The first effect of the Fall upon Adam and Eve was a 
realization of their shame. "And the eyes of them both 
were opened, and they knew that they were naked." 
Through sin man obtained that which he did not have be- 
fore (at least, in operation), namely, a conscience — a knowl- 
edge of both good and evil. This was something which un- 

S8 Gleanings in Genesis 

fallen man did not possess, for man was created in a state of 
innocency, and innocence is ignorance of evil. But as soon 
as man partook of the forbidden fruit he became conscious 
of his wrongdoing, and his eyes were opened to see his 
fallen condition. And conscience, the moral instinct, is 
something which is now common to human nature. Man 
has that within him which witnesses to his fallen and sinful 
condition! But not only does conscience bear witness to 
man's depravity, it is also one of the marks of a personal 
Creator's handiwork. The conscience cannot be of man's 
making. He would not voluntarily have set up an accuser, 
a judge, a tormentor, in his own breast. From whence then 
does it proceed T It is no more the result of education than 
is reason or memory, though like both it may be cultivated. 
Conscience is the still small voice of Gk>d within the soul, 
testifying to the fact that man is not his own master but 
responsible to a moral law which either approves or re- 

Having become conscious of their shame Adam and Eve 
at once endeavored to hide it by making unto themselves 
aprons of fig leaves. This action of theirs was highly sig- 
nificant. Instead of seeking Gk)d and openly confessing 
their guilt, they attempted to conceal it both from Him 
and from themselves. Such has ever been the way of the 
natural man. The very last thing he will do is to own 
before Gk>d his lost and undone condition. Conscious that 
something is wrong with him, he seeks shelter behind his 
own self -righteousness and trusts that his good works will 
more than counter-balance his evil ones. Church-going, 
religious exercises, attention to ordinances, philanthropy 
and altruism are the fig leaves which many today are weav- 
ing into aprons to cover their spiritual shame. But like 
those which our first parents sewed together they will not 
endure the test of eternity. At best they are but things 
of time which will speedily crumble away to dust. 

A passage in the Gospels throws light on the one we are 
now considering — ^we refer to another fig tree, the one on 
which our Lord found no fruit. How striking is the lesson 
taught us by comparing these two Scriptures! Why are 
we told that Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together! 
And why are we informed that it was a fig tree which our 
Lord cursed? Was it not in order that we should connect 
them together? The fig tree was the only thing whi^h our 

The Fall S9 

Lord cursed while He was here upon earth, and are we not 
intended to learn from that action of His that that which 
man employs to hide his spiritual shame is directly under 
the curse of Christ, bears no fruit, and is doomed to quickly 
wither away ! 

But these self-manufactured aprons did not remove from 
Adam and Eve the sense of their shame, for when they 
heard the voice of the Lord Qod they ^'hid themselves" 
from Him. Man's conscience then did not bring him to 
God — ^f or that there must be the work of the Holy Spirit — 
rather did it terrify him and drive him away from God. 
Our first parents sought to hide themselves. Again we note 
how characteristic and representative was their action. 
They had some faint conception at least of the moral dis- 
tance that there was between themselves and their Creator. 
He was holy, they were sinful, consequently they were 
afraid of Him and sought to flee from His presence. So 
it is with the unregenerate today. In spite of all their 
proud boastings, religious exercises, and self*manuf actured 
coverings, men are uneasy and f earfuL Why is it that the 
Bible is so much neglected T It is because it brings man 
nearer to God than any other book, and men are uneasy in 
the presence of God and wish to hide from Him. Why is it 
that the public ministry of the Word is so sparsely at- 
tended T People will proffer many excuses, but the real 
reason is because that these services bring God near to them 
and this makes them uncomfortable in their sin, so they 
seek to flee from Him. How evident it is then that we all 
shared in the flrst sin and died in Adam. The position in 
which the flrst man stood was a federal one ; and that he 
acted in a representative capacity is seen by the fact that 
all his children share his nature and perpetuate his trans- 

When God sought out Adam and brought him face to 
face with his guilt, he was given fair and full opportunity 
to confess his sin. ' ' Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I 
commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat T " And what 
was the reply! How did Adam avail himself of this op- 
portunity t Instead of a broken-hearted confession of his 
sin he excused himself — ^^'And the man said, The woman 
whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, 
and I did eaf It was the same with Eve: **And the 
Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast 

40 Gleanings in Genesis 

done f And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and 
I did eat. ' ' Attempt was thus made to palliate the sin by 
shifting the responsibility upon others. How marvellously 
true to life in this twentieth century I What undesigned 
proofs are these of Divine inspiration! But the very ex- 
cuse man makes is the ground of his condemnation. We 
have another illustration of this principle in the parable of 
the marriage supper. ^^I have bought a piece of ground 
and must needs go to see it. I pray thee have me exctLsed/' 
Where was the ** needs** bet Just this, that he preferred 
his own gratification rather than to accept Ood's invitation. 
So it was with Adam — ^Hhe woman whom thou gavest to 
be with me" — ^the excuse he furnishes is the very ground 
of his condemnation. '^Because thou hast hearkened unto 
the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which 
I commanded thee, sajdng, thou shalt not eat of it; cursed 
is the ground for thy sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it 
all the days of thy life." All these subterfuges were un- 
availing and man stood face to face with a holy God and 
was convicted of his guilt and unspeakable shame. Thus 
will it be at the great white throne. 

We find then that the effects of the Fall (so far as we 
have yet considered it) upon man himself were fourfold: 
the discovery that something was wrong with himself ; the 
effort to hide his shame by a self -provided covering; fear 
of God and an attempt to hide from His presence; and 
instead of confessing his sin, seeking to excuse it. The same 
effects are observable today the world over. 


lY. The Fall and Ood 

''And the Lord Ood called unto Adam, and aaid unto 
\j Where art thou f ' ' Beautiful indeed is this record of 
Divine grace. This was not the voice of the policeman, but 
the call of a yearning love. Dark as is the background 
here, it only serves more clearly to reveal the riches of 
Ood's grace. Highly favored as our first parents were, blest 
with everything the heart could desire, only a single restric- 
tion placed upon their liberty in order to test their loyalty 
and fidelity to their Maker — ^how fearful then their fall, 
how terrible, their sin! What wonder if Gk)d had con- 
signed them to ''everlasting chains under darkness," as 
He did the angels when they sinned f What wonder if His 
wrath had instantly consumed themf Such would have 
been no undue severity. It would simply have been bare 
justice. It was all they deserved. But no. In His infinite 
condescension and abundant mercy, God deigned to be the 
Seeker, and came down to Eden crying. Where art thou f 

W. GrifiSth Thomas has forcibly summed up the signifi- 
cance of this question in the following words: ''God's 
question to Adam still sounds in the ear of every sinner: 
'Where art thouf* It is the call of Divine justice, which 
cannot overlook sin. It is the call of Divine sorrow, which 
grieves over the sinner. It is the call of Divine love, 
which offers redemption from sin. To each and to every one 
of us the call is reiterated, ' Where art thou t ' * ' 

Everything recorded in Genesis 3 has far more than a 
local significance. God's attitude and action there were 
typical and characteristic. It was not Adam who sought 
God, but God that sought Adam. And this has been the 
order ever since. ' ' There is none that seeketh after God ' ' 
(Bom. 3:11). It was God who sought out and called 
Abram while yet an idolater. It was God who sought 
Jacob at Bethel when he was fleeing from the consequences 
of his wrong doing. It was Gk)d who sought out Moses while 
a fugitive in Midian. It was Christ who sought out the 
ai)ostles whilst they were engaged in fishing, so that He 
could say, '^ Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.'' 


42 Gleanings in Genesis 

It was Christ who, in His ineffable love, came to seek and 
to save that which was lost. It is the Shepherd who seeks 
the sheep, and not the sheep that seek the Shepherd. How 
true it is that '*We love Him because He first loved us.** 
0, that we might appreciate more deeply the marvellous 
condescension of Deity in stooping so low as to care for 
and seek out such poor worms of the dust. 

*'And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, 
and between thy jseed and her seed ; it shall bruise thy 
head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). Here 
again we behold the exceeding riches of God's grace. Be- 
fore He acted in judgment He displayed His mercy ; before 
He banished the guilty ones from Eden, He gave them a 
blessed promise and hope. Though Satan had encompassed 
the downfall of man, it is announced that One shall come 
and bruise his head. By woman had come sin, by woman 
should come the Saviour. By woman had come the curse, 
by woman should come Him who would bear and remove 
the curse. By woman Paradise was lost, yet by woman 
should be born the One who should regain it. what grace 
— ^the Lord of glory was to be the woman^s Seed ! 

Here we have the beginning and germ of all proph^y. 
It would be outside our province now to attempt anjrthing 
more than a bare outline of the contents of this wonderful 
verse. But three things should be carefully noted. First, 
it is announced that there should be enmity between Satan 
and the woman. This part of the verse is invariably passed 
over by commentators. Yet it is of profound importance. 
The ** woman" here typifies Israel — ^the woman from whom 
the promised Seed came — the woman of Revelation 12. 
The children of Israel being the appointed channel 
through which the Messiah was to come, became the object 
of Satan's continued enmity and assault. How marvel- 
lously this prediction has already been fulfilled all stu- 
dents of Scripture know full well. The ''famines" men- 
tioned in Genesis were the first efforts of the enemy to de- 
stroy the fathers of the chosen race. The edict of Pharaoh 
to destroy all the male children; the Egyptian attack at 
the Bed Sea; the assaults of the Canaanites when in the 
land ; the plot of Haman, are all so many examples of this 
enmity between Satan and ''the woman," while the con- 
tinued persecution of the Jew by the Gentiles and the yet 
future opposition by the Beast witness to the same truth. 

The Fall, continued 4S 

Second, two ^'seeds'' are here referred to — another item 
which is generally overlooked — ^ * thy seed ' ' and * * her seed ' ' 
— Satan 's seed and the woman 's Seed — the Antichrist and 
the Christ. In these two persons all prophecy converges. 
In the former of these expressions — ^''thy seed" ( Satan ^s 
seed) we have more than a hint of the supernatural and 
Satanic nature and character of the Antichrist. From the 
beginning the Devil has been an imitator, and the climax 
will not be reached until he daringly travesties the hy- 
postatic union of the two natures in our blessed Lord — ^His 
humanity and His Deity. The Antichrist will be the Man 
of Sin and yet the Son of Perdition — ^literally the **seed" 
of the serpent — ^just as our Lord was the Son of Man and 
the Son of God in one person. This is the only logical con- 
clusion. If ^'her seed" ultimates in a single personality — 
the Christ — ^then by every principle of sound interpreta- 
tion *' ' thy seed ' ' must also ultimate in a single person — ^the 

''Her seed" — ^the woman *s Seed. Here we have the 
first announcement concerning the supernatural birth of 
our Saviour. It was prophetically foretold that He should 
enter this world in an unique manner. **Her seed — ^the 
woman's seed, not the man's! How literally this was ful- 
filled we learn from the two inspired records given us in 
the New Testament of the miraculous conception. A ''i;tr- 
9tn" was with child and four thousand years after this 
initial prediction ''God sent forth His Son, made of a 
woman'* (Gal. 4:4). 

In the third item of this marvelous prophecy reference is 
made to a double "bruising" — ^the woman's Seed shall 
bruise the Seri)ent's head, and the Serpent should bruise 
His heel. The last clause in this prediction has already 
become history. The ' ' bruising ' ' of the heel of the woman 's 
Seed is a symbolical reference to the sufferings and death 
of our Saviour, who was ' ' wounded for our transgressions 
and hruised for our iniquities. ' ' The first of these clauses 
yet awaits fulfilment. The bruising of the Serpent's head 
will take place when our Lord returns to the earth in per- 
son and in power, and when "the dragon, that old serpent^ 
which is the Devil and Satan shall be bound for a thousand 
years (the Millennium) and cast into the bottomelss pit 
(Rev. 20:2, 3). Again, we say, what a remarkable proof 
Qm verse furnishes us of the Divine Inspiration of the 

44 Gleanings in Genesis 

Scriptures 1 Who but He who knoweth the end from the 
beginning could have given such an accurate outline of sub- 
sequent history, and packed it within the limits of this one 
verse t 

* * Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make 
coats of skins, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21). In order 
to adequately explain and expound this verse many pages 
might well be written, but perforce, we must content our* 
selves with a few lines. This verse gives us a typical pic- 
ture of a sinner 's salvation. It was the first Gospel sermon, 
preached by God Himself, not in words but in symbol and 
action. It was a setting forth of the way by which a sin- 
ful creature could return unto and approach his holy 
Creator. It was the initial declaration of the fundamental 
fact that * ' without shedding of blood is no remission. ' ' It 
was a blessed illustration of suhstitution — ^the innocent 
dying in the stead of the guilty. 

Before the Fall, God had defined the wages of sin : ' ' In 
the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.'' Qod is 
righteous, and as Judge of all the earth He must do right. 
His law had been broken and justice cried aloud for the 
enforcing of its penalty. But is justice to override mercy f 
Is there no way by which grace can reign through right- 
eousness f Blessed be Gk)d there is, there was. Mercy de- 
sired to spare the offender and because justice demands 
death, another shall be slain in his place. The Lord Gk)d 
clothed Adam and Eve with skins, and in order to procure 
these skins animals must have been slain, life must have 
been taken, blood must have been shed ! And in this way 
was a covering provided for the fallen and ruined sinner. 
The application of the type is obvious. The Death of the 
Son of God was shadowed forth. Because the Lord Jesus 
laid down His life for the sheep God can now be jtLst and 
the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 

How beautiful and perfect is the type I It was the Lord 
God who furnished the skins, made them into coats and 
clothed our first parents. They did nothing. Qod did it 
alL They were entirely passive. The same blessed truth 
is illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. When the 
wanderer had taken the place of a lost and undone creature 
and had owned his sin, the grace of the father's heart was 
displayed. ^^But the father said to his servants. Bring 
forth the best robe, and put it on him'' (Luke 15 : 22) . The 

The Fall, continued 45 

prodigal did not have to furnish the robe, nor did he have 
put it on himself y all was done for him. And so it is with 
every sinner. **For by grace are ye saved through faith, 
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 
2:8). Well may we sing, '*I will greatly rejoice in the 
Lord, my soul diall be joyful in my Qod; for He hath 
clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered 
me with the robe of righteousness' ' (Isa. 61 : 10). 

' ' So He drove out the man ; and He placed at the east of 
the Qarden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword which 
turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life" (Gten. 
3:24). This was the immediate climax in the Divine con- 
demnation of the first sin. After sentence of judgment had 
been passed first upon the serpent, then upon the woman, 
and finally upon the man, and after God had acted in 
mercy by giving them a precious promise to stay their 
hearts and by providing a covering for their shame, Adam 
and Eve were driven out of Paradise. The moral signifi- 
cance of this is plain. It was impossible for them to re- 
main in the garden and continue in fellowship with the 
Lord. He is holy, and that which defileth cannot enter 
His presence. Sin always results in separation. '^But 
your iniquities have separated between you and your God, 
and your sins have hid His face from you" (Isa. 59 : 2). 

Here we see the fulfilment of God's threat. He had an* 
nounced, ''In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely 
die.^^ Die, not only physically — ^there is something infinite- 
ly worse than that — ^but die spiritually. Just as physical 
death is the separation of the soul from the body, so spir- 
itual death is the separation of the soul from God. — ^''This 
my son was dead (separated from me) and is alive again — 
restored to me. When it is said that we are by nature 
''dead in trespasses and sins," it is because men are ^^alien- 
ated from the life of Ood through the ignorance that is in 
them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Eph. 4 : 18). 
In like manner, that judicial death which awaits all who 
die in their sins — ^the "Second Death" — ^is not annihilation 
as so many are now falsely teaching,* but eternal separation 
from Gk)d and everlasting punishment in the lake of fire. 
And so here in Genesis 3 we have Gk>d's own definition of 

(*Note In Rey. 20 after the unsaved are resurrected, they are still 
termed "dead" — dead for ever, dead to Ood even while they live). 

46 Gleanings in Genesis 

death — separation from Him, evidenced by the expulsion 
of man from Eden. 

The barring of the way to the tree of life illustrated an 
important spiritual truth. In some peculiar way this tree 
seems to have been a symbol of the Divine presence (see 
Prov. 3:18), and the fact that fallen man had no right 
of access to it further emphasized the moral distance at 
which he stood from God. The sinner, as such, had no ac- 
cess to God, for the sword of justice barred his way, just 
as the veil in the Tabernacle and Temple shut man out 
from the Divine presence. But blessed be God, we read of 
One who has opened for us a ^'new and living way" to God, 
yea, who is Himself the Way (John 14 : 6). And how has 
that been accomplished f Did justice withdraw her sword f 
Nay, it sheathed it in the side of our adorable Saviour. 
Doubtless that solemn but precious word in Zechariah 13 : 7, 
'^ Awake, sword, against My Shepherd," looks back to 
Genesis 3 : 24. And because the Shepherd was smitten the 
sheep are spared, and in the Paradise of Gk)d we shall eat 
of the fruit of that tree from which Adam was barred (see 
Rev. 2:7). 

Summing up, then, this important division of our sub- 
ject — God and the Fall — ^we discover here : An exhibition of 
His condescension in seeking man; an evidence of His 
mercy in giving a blessed prophecy and promise to sustain 
and cheer the heart of man ; a demonstration of His grace 
in providing a covering for the shame of man ; a display of 
His holiness in punishing the sin of man; and a typical 
foreshadowment of the urgent need of a Mediator between 
God and man. 


The philosophy of life as interpreted by the Darwinian 
school, affirms that sin is merely a present imperfection and 
limitation which will gradually disappear as the human 
race ascends the hill of life. The evolutionary hypothesis, 
therefore, not only denies the teaching of Genesis one, but 
it also repudiates the facts recorded in Genesis three. And 
here is the real point and purpose of Satan's attack. The 
specious reasoning of our modern theologians has not only 
attempted to undermine the authenticity of the account of 
Creation, but it has also succeeded in blunting the point 
of the Gospel's appeal. 

By denying the Fall, the imperative need of the new 
birth has been concealed. For, if man began at the hottom 
of the moral ladder — as evolutionists ask us to believe — and 
is now slowly but surely climbing heavenwards, then all he 
needs is education and cultivation. On the other hand, if 
man commenced at the top of the ladder hut through sin 
fell to the hottom — as the Bible declares — ^then he is in ur- 
gent need of regeneration and justification. The issue 
thus raised is vital and fundamental. 

v. The Fall and Human History 

While we are entirely dependent upon the revelation 
which Gk>d has given us in His Word for our knowledge of 
the beginnings of human history, and while His Word is 
absolutely authoritative and to be received with unques- 
tioning faith, and while the Holy Scriptures need no but* 
tressing with human logic and argument, yet an appeal 
to history and experience is not without interest and value. 
This is the case in respect to the **Fall." And we would 
now submit that the teaching of Genesis three is substanti- 
ated and vindicated by the great facts of human history 
and experience. 

1. The Teaching of Human Experience 

Bead the annals of history, examine the reports of our 
police courts, study life in the slums of our large cities, 
and then ask, How comes it that man, the king of creation, 
designed and fitted to be its leader and lord, should have 


48 Gleanings in Genesis 

sunken lower than the animals f Illustrations are scarcely 
necessary to show haw low man has sunk, for all who know 
vice as it really exists beneath the thin covering provided 
by the conventionalities of modem civilization, are only too 
painfully aware of the degradation and desolation which 
exist on all sides. A beast will not abandon its young as 
is now so frequently the case with the parents of illegitimate 
children. The beasts of the field put multitudes of human 
beings to shame, for in the breeding season they confine 
themselves to their own mates— exceptions being found 
only among those animals which man has partially domes- 
ticated I No animal will drink foul and poisoned water, yet 
thousands of well educated men and women are annuidly 
poisoned with alcohol. 

But what is the cause of these effects. What is the true 
explanation of these sad facts f How comes it that the king 
of creation has sunken lower thkn the beasts of the field t 
Only one answer is possible — SIN, the FALL. Sin has 
entered the human constitution ; man is a fallen creature, 
and as such, capable of any vileness and wickedness. 

2. The Discords of Human Nature 

Man, the unregenerate man, is a composite being. Two 
principles are at work within him. He is a self-contradic- 
tion. One moment he does that which is noble and praise- 
worthy, but the next that which is base and vile. Some- 
times he is amenable to that which is good and elevating, 
but more often he abandons himself to the pleasures of 
sin. In some moods he seems closely akin to Gk)d, in others 
he is clearly a child of the devil. 

Whence comes this conflict between good and evil f Why 
this perplexing duality in our common make-up f Only 
one explanation meets all the facts of the case. On the one 
hand, man is ^^ the offspring of God"; but, on the other, 
sin has come in through the Fall and marred the Creator's 

3. The Universality of Sin 

Why is it that the king's son in the palace and the saint's 
daughter in the cottage, in spite of every safeguard which 
love and watchfulness can devise, manifest an unmistakable 
bias towards evil and tendency to sin! Why is it that 
heredity and environment, education and civilization are 

The Fall, concluded 49 

powerless to change this order f Why are all sinful f Why 
is it that there is no nation, no tribe, no family, free from 
the taint of sin t Only the Word of Ood solves this prob- 
lem. All have a common origin (Adam) ; all share a com- 
mon heritage (the Fall) ; all enter into a common legacy 

4. The Existence of Death 

** There is one event that happeneth to all," but why 
should it! We have been created by the Eternal God, we 
I)ossess a never-dying soul ; why, then, should not men con- 
tinue to live on this earth for ever f Why should there be 
such things as decay and destruction t Why should man 
die f Science can furnish no answer to these questions, and 
philosophy offers no explanation. Again we are shut up 
to the Word of God. Death is the wages of sin, and death 
is universal because sin is universal. If any inquire. Why 
are sin and death universal, the answer is, **By one man 
sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death 
passed upon all men, for all have sinned. ' ' 

5. The Present Paralysis of the Human Race 

Every being and organism is subject to a necessity of 
becoming other than it is — ^in a single word, it must grow. 
Not only the animal and the plant, but the crystal, too, 
obeys this law, and it is difficult to see why humanity which, 
as history shows, forms an organic whole, alone does not 
follow it. The only solution of this problem is, that man is 
not now in his original and normal state : he is no longer as 
God created him. He who denies the Fall has no light upon 
this profound mystery. It is beyond doubt that had man 
never fallen, he would have continued to grow in knowl- 
edge, goodness and happiness: in fact, would have be- 
come more and more like to Qod. Enoch, the man who 
walked with Gk)d, and whom He took to Himself after he 
had lived the great cycle of three hundred and sixty-five 
years — a year for a day — ^is an example of a human being 
who had fulfilled his destiny, and most probably a type of 
what the destiny of all men might have been. But alas! 
man fell, hence progress and advancement in the final sense 
became impossible. 

The fact that man has not progressed, or rather, is not 
now progressing, may be seen by comparing the products 
from the various fields of human enterprise of today with 

50 Gleanings in Genesis 

those of two or three thousand years ago. In literature, 
nothing has appeared whieh equals the Book of Job, or 
which rivals the Psalms. In Philology — ^which is a sure 
test of the intellectual development and mental life of a 
people — ^there is no modem language which matches the 
Sanskrit. In Art, all that is best we borrow from the an- 
cient Greeks. In Science, we are still far behind the de- 
signers and builders of the Pyramids — a recent examina- 
tion of some mummies has revealed the fact that the Egyp- 
tians were ahead of us even in dentistry. In Ethics, the 
marvellous system formulated by Confucius is superior to 
anything we have today outside of the Bible. In gigantic 
civilizations, none have outstripped those of the Baby- 
lonians and Phcenicians, which flourished hundreds of years 
before the Christian era commenced. In legislation, fo- 
rensic and organizing ability, the Romans have never been 
surpassed. While physically, we compare unfavorably with 
the ancients. 

Here then is a. fact fully demonstrated, that as an or- 
ganic whole, our race is making no real progress and evi- 
dencing no signs of growth. And we repeat, it is the only 
one among all living organisms which is not growing — grow- 
ing, not evolving. What, then, is the cause of this mys- 
terious paralysis f How can we account for it except by the 
explanation furnished in the Word of God, namely, that 
this organism has had a terrible fall, is marred and broken, 
is not now in its normal and original state ! 

If then the Fall is a historical fact and the only adequate 
explanation of human history, what follows f First, man is 
a fallen creature; second, he is a sinner; third, he needs 
a Saviour. This then is the foundation of the Gospel ap- 
peal. By nature, man is alienated from God, under con- 
demnation, lost. What then is the remedy f The answer is, 
A new creation. "If any man be in Christ he is a new 
creation" (2 Cor. 5:17). It is not the cultivation of the 
old nature which is needed, for that is ruined by the Fall, 
but the reception of an entirely new nature which is be- 
gotten by the Holy Spirit. ''Ye must be bom again." 
Anything short of this is worthless and useless. 

VI. The Fall and Christ 

No study of Genesis 3 would be complete without 
meditating upon it with the Lord Jesus before the heart. 

The Fall, concluded 51 

Several passages in the Word link together Adam and 
Christ, and therefore it behooves us to carefully compare 
and contrast them. In thinking of Christ and the Fall a 
threefold line of thought may be developed. First, a con- 
trast between the first man and the second man in their 
characters and conduct. Second, Christ Himself bearing 
the Curse of the Fall. Third, Christ reversing the effects 
of the Fall and bringing in the ' * better thing. ' * Let us take 
up these thoughts in this order. 

It has been suggested by another, that in eating of the 
forbidden fruit Adam cast reproach upon God's love, God's 
truth and God's majesty. Created in the image of his 
Maker : vitalized by the very breath of Deity : placed in a 
perfect environment: surrounded by every blessing the 
heart could desire: put in complete authority over the 
works of God 's hands : provided with a suitable companion 
and helpmeet: made an example to all the universe of 
Jehovah's goodness and love, and given one single com- 
mand that he might have opportunity to show his appre- 
ciation by an easy observance of it — ^j- et, he gives ear to the 
voice of the tempter and believes the Devil's lie. 

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not 
surely die : For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof 
then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, 
knowing good and evil. ' ' What did Satan wish these words 
to imply? They were as though he said: Did God tell 
you not to eat of this tree! How unkind! He is with- 
holding from you the very best thing in the garden. He 
knows full well that if you partake of this fruit your eyes 
will be opened, and you yourselves will become as God. In 
other words, it was an appeal for them to distrust God, to 
doubt His grace, and to question His goodness. Thus in 
eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam repudiated and dis- 
honored God's love. 

Moreover, he questioned and dishonored God's veracity. 
God had plainly warned him. In unequivocal language He 
had threatened, * * In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt 
surely die." Adam knew nothing of death. He was sur- 
rounded only by living creatures. Reason might have 
argued that it was impossible for death to enter such a 
fair land as Paradise. But there rang the Word of Him 
who cannot lie, "Thou shalt surely die." The serpent, how- 
ever, boldly denies Jehovah's Word — ^*'Ye shall 7iot surely 

52 Gleanings in Genesis 

die," he declares. Which would Adam believe — Qod or 
Satan. He had more confidence in the latter : he dared to 
doubt the former, and the fell deed was done. Thus, in eat- 
ing of the forbidden fruit, Adam repudiated and dishon- 
ored Gk)d's Truth. 

Further : he rejected Ood 's authority. As the Creator, 
God possesses the inherent right to issue commands, and to 
demand from His creatures implicit obedience. It is His 
prerogative to act as Law-giver, ControUer, Governor, and 
to define the limits of His subjects' freedom. And in Eden 
He exercised His prerogative and exprest His will. But 
Adam imagined he had a better friend than God. He re- 
garded Him as austere and despotic, as One who begrudged 
him that which would promote his best interests. He felt 
that in being denied the fruit of this tree which was pleas- 
ant to the eyes and capable of making one wise God was act- 
ing arbitrarily, cruelly, so he determined to assert himself, 
claim his rights and throw off the restraint of the Divine 
government. He substitutes the Devil's word for (Jod's 
law: he puts his own desire before Jehovah's command. 
Thus, in eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam repudiated 
and dishonored God 's Majesty. So much then for the char- 
acter and conduct of the first Adam. 

In turning to the last Adam we shall find that everything 
is in direct antithesis. In thought, word and deed, the 
Christ of God completely vindicated the love, truth, and 
majesty of Deity which the first man had so grievously and 
deliberately dishonored. How He vindicated the love of 
God! Adam harbored the wicked thought that God be- 
grudged him that which was beneficial, and thereby ques- 
tioned His goodness. But how the Lord Jesus has reversed 
that decision ! In coming down to this earth to seek and to 
save that which was lost. He fully revealed the compassion 
of Deity for humanity. In His sympathy for the afflicted, 
in His miracles of healing, in His tears over Jerusalem, in 
His unselfish and unwearied works of mercy. He has openly 
displayed the beneficence and benevolence of God. And 
what shall we say of His sufferings and death on the cruel 
tree? In laying down His life for us, in dying upon the 
cross He unveiled the heart of the Father as nothing else 
could. *^Qod commendeth His love toward us, in that, 
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ' In the 

The Fall, concluded 53 

light of Calvary we can never more doubt the goodness and 
grace of Gk>d. 

How Christ vindicated the truth of God ! When tempted 
by Satan to doubt God's goodness, question His truth and 
repudiate His majesty. He answered each time, '^It is 
written.^' When He entered the synagogue on the Sab- 
bath day it was to read out of the Holy Oracles. When 
selecting the twelve apostles He designedly chose Judas in 
order that the Scriptures * * might be fulfilled, * ' When cen- 
suring His critics, He declared that by their traditions they 
made void ''the Word of God/' In His last moments upon 
the Cross, knowing that all things had been accomplished, 
in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled He said, ''I 
thirst/' After He had risen from the dead and was jour- 
neying with the two disciples to Emmaus, He ' ' expounded 
unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Him- 
self." At every point, and in every detail of His life He 
honored and magnified God 's truth. 

Finally, Christ completely vindicated the majesty of God. 
The creature had aspired to be equal with the Creator. 
Adam chafed against the governmental restraint which Je- 
hovah had placed upon him. He despised Gk)d's law, in- 
sulted His majesty, defied His authority. How different 
with our blessed Saviour 1 Though He was the Lord of 
Glory and equal with God, yet He made Himself of no 
reputation, and took upon the form of a servant. O match- 
less grace ! He condescended to be ''made under the law," 
and during the whole of His stay here upon earth He re- 
fused to assert His rights, and was ever subject to the Fa- 
ther. ' ' Not My will ' ' was His holy cry. Nay, more : "He 
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." 
Never was God's law so magnified, never was God's au- 
thority so honored, never were God's government claims so 
illustriously upheld, as during the thirty-three years when 
His own Son tabernacled among men. Thus in His own 
Person Christ vindicated the outraged majesty of God. 

We turn now to contemplate Christ Himself hearing the 
Curse of the Fall. What was the punishment which fol- 
lowed the first Adam 's sin f In answering this question we 
confine ourselves to the chapter now before us. Beginning 
at the seventeenth verse of Genesis 3 we may trace a seven- 
fold consequence upon the entrance of sin into this world. 
First, the ground was cursed. Second, in sorrow man was 

54 Gleanings in Genesis 

to eat of it all the days of his life. Third, thorns and this* 
ties it was to bring forth. Fourth, in the sweat of his face 
man was to eat his bread. Fifth, unto dust man was to re- 
turn. Sixth, a flaming sward barred his way to the tree of 
life. Seventh, there was the execution of God's threat' that 
in the day man partook of the forbidden fruit he should 
surely die. Such was the curse which fell upon Adam hb 
the result of the Fall. 

Observe now how completely the Lord Jesus bore the full 
consequences of man's sin. First, Christ was ''made a 
curse for us" (Gal. 3 : 13). Second, so thoroughly was He 
acquainted with grief. He was denominated ''the man of 
sarrows'' (Isa. 53 : 3). Third, in order that we might know 
how literally the Holy One bore in His own body the con- 
sequences of Adam's sin, we read "Then came Jesus forth 
wearing the crown of tharns** (John 18: 8). Fourth, cor- 
responding with the sweat of his face in which the first 
man was to eat his bread, we learn concerning the second 
man, "And His sweat was as it were great drops of blood 
falling down to the ground" (Luke 22 : 44). Fifth, just as 
the first Adam was to return unto the dust, so the cry of the 
last Adam, in that wonderful prophetic Psalm, was "Thou 
hast brought Me into the dust of death" (Psalm 22:15). 
Sixth, the sword of justice which barred the way to the 
tree of life was sheathed in the side of God's Son, for of 
old, Jehovah had said, ' ' Awake, O sward, against My shep- 
herd, and against the man that is My Fellow" (Zech. 13: 
7). Seventh, the counterpart of God's original threat to 
Adam, namely, spiritual death (for he did not die phys- 
ically that same day), which is the separation of the soul 
from God, is witnessed in that most solemn of all cries, 
"My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me!" (Mat 
27:46). How absolutely did our blessed Saviour identify 
Himself with those which were lost, took their place and 
suffered the Just for the unjust ! How apparent it is, that 
Christ in His own body, did bear the Curse entailed by the 

In conclusion we shall now consider Christ reversing the 
effects of the Fall. God alone is able to bring good out of 
evil and make even the wrath of man to praise Him. The 
Fall has afforded Him an opportunity to exhibit His wis- 
dom and display the riches of His grace to an extent which, 
80 far as we cau see. He never could have done, had not sin 

The Fall, concluded 55 

entered the world. In the sphere of redemption Christ has 
not only reversed the effects of the Fall, but because of it 
has brought in a better thing. If God could have found a 
way, consistently with His own character, to restore man to 
the position wbich he occupied before he became a trans- 
gressor, it would have been a remarkable triumph, but 
that through Christ man should actually be the gainer is a 
transcendent miracle of Divine wisdom and grace. Tet 
such is the case. The redeemed have gained more through 
the last Adam than they lost through the first Adam. They 
occupy a more exalted position. Before the Fall Adam 
dwelt in an earthly Paradise, but the redeemed have been 
made to sit with Christ in heavenly places. Through re- 
demption they have been blest with a nobler nature. Be- 
fore the Fall man possessed a natural life, but now, all in 
Christ have been made partakers of the Divine nature. 
They have obtained a new standing before Ood. Adam was 
merely innocent, which is a negative condition, but be- 
lievers in Christ are righteous, which is a positive state. 
We share a better inheritance. Adam was lord of Eden, 
but believers are *' heirs of all things,'' *' heirs of God and 
joint heirs with Christ.'' Through grace we have been 
made capable of a deeper joy than unfallen spirits have 
known : the bliss of pardoned sin, the heaven of deep con- 
scious obligation to Divine mercy. In Christ believers enjoy 
a closer relationship to God than was possible before the 
Fall. Adam was merely a creature, but we are members 
of the body of Christ — ^''members of His body, of His flesh 
and of His bones. ' ' How marvellous I We have been taken 
into union with Deity itself, so that the Son of God is not 
ashamed to call us brethren. The Fall provided the need 
of Redemption, and through the redeeming work of the 
Cross, believers have a portion which unfallen Adam could 
never have attained unto. Truly, ** where sin abounded, 
grace did much more abound. ' ' 


Genesis 4 

There is a very close connection between Genesis 3 and 4. 
In the former we see the beginning of sin in man, in the 
latter we read of its progress and fruits ; in the one it was 
sin in the individual, in the other, sin in the family. Like 
leprosy, sin contaminates, spreads and issues in death. In 
Genesis 3 the sin was against God, in Genesis 4 it is against 
a fellow-man. The order here is ever the same; the one 
who has no fear of God before his eyes, has no genuine 
respect for the rights of his neighbor. Again, in Genesis 
4 we see the local fulfilment of Genesis 3 : 15 — ^the enmity 
between the two seeds — the wicked and the righteous, Cain 
and Abel. Further ; we are shown, even more clearly than 
by the coats of skins in the previous chapter, that the 
guilty sinner can only approach God by means of a sacrifice. 
We propose now to study briefiy the contents of Genesis 4 
from three viewpoints, namely; the historical, the typical 
and the dispensational. 

J. Cain and Abel Considered Historically 

The record of Genesis 4 is exceedingly terse and much is 
gathered up which scarcely appears on the surface. The 
central truth of the chapter is that God is to be worshipped, 
that He is to be worshipped through sacrifice, that He is to 
be worshipped by means of a sacrifice which is appropri- 
ated by faith (cf. Heb. 11:4). Three things are to be 
carefully noted in regard to the worship of Cain and Abel. 
First, that there was a place where (Jod was to be wor- 
shipped. This is indicated in the third verse: ''Cain 
brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the 
Lord. * ' That is, he brought his offering to some particular 
place. This supposition seems to be supported by the lan- 
guage of verse 16 — ^''And Cain went out from the presence 
of the Lord. ' ' A further corroboration may be discovered 
in the mention of *'the faf which Abel brought (verse 4). 
*'The firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof suggests 
an altar upon which the victim should be offered and upon 
which the fat should be burned. Where this place of wor- 
ship was located perhaps we cannot say for certain, but 


Cain and Abel 57 

there is ground for believing that it was at the east of the 
Garden of Eden. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, in their 
commentary on Genesis, translate the last verse of Gtenesis 
3 as follows: ''And He (Qtod) dwelt at the east of the 
Garden of Eden between the Cherubim, as a Shekinah (a 
fire-tongue or fire-sword) to keep open the way to the tree 
of life. ' '* The same though is presented in the Jerusalem 
Targum. If the grammatical construction of the Hebrew 
will warrant this translation, then Genesis 3 : 24 would seem 
to signify that, having expelled man from the garden, God 
established a mercy-seat protected by the Cherubim, the 
fire-tongue or sword being the symbol of the Divine pres-^ 
ence, and whoever would worship God must approach this 
mercy-seat by way of sacrifice. We commend this sugges- 
tion to the prayerful consideration of our readers. To say 
the least, Genesis 4 seems to imply that there was some def- 
inite place to which Cain and Abel brought their offerings, 
a place which they entered and from which they went out. 

Second: Not only does there appear to have been a 
definite place of worship, but there seems also to have been 
an appointed time for worship. The marginal reading of 
Genesis 4 : 3 gives, * ' And at the end of days it came to pass, 
that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering 
unto the Lord." May not this signify, at the end of the 
week? In other words, does not this expression appear to 
point to the Sdbhath day as the time when God was to be 
formally worshipped t A third thing implied is a pre- 
scribed means of worship. God could be approached and 
worshipped only by means of sacrifice. This incident then 
seems to intimate that the children of Adam and Eve had 
been definitely instructed that there was a place where God 
could be found, that there was a time in which to come be- 
fore Him, and that appointed means of approach had been 
establish^. Neither Cain nor Abel would have known 
anjrthing about sacrifices unless sacrifices had been definitely 
appointed. Prom Hebrews 11 : 4 we learn that it was '*By 
faith Abel offered ' ' his sacrifice, and in Romans 10 : 17 we 
are told that ^ ' Faith cometh by hearing. ' ' It was by faith 
and not by fancy that Abel brought his offering to (Jod. 

*We may say that the Hebrew word shaken, which In Geneeis 3 : 24 is 
translated "placed** is defined in Young's Concordance "to tabernacle," etc. 
Nowhere else In the Old Testament is shaken translated ''placed/' but 
eighty-three times it is rendered "to dwell." It is the same Hebrew word 
which is glTen as "to dwell" in Exodus 26 : 8. 

58 Gleanings in Genesis 

He had heard that God required a sacrifice, he believed, 
and he evidenced his faith by a compliance with God s re- 
vealed will. 

The nature of the offerings which Cain and Abel brought 
unto the Lord, and God's rejection of the one and ac- 
ceptance of the other, point us to the most important truth 
in the chapter. Attention should be fixed not so much on 
the two men themselves, as upon the difference between 
their offerings. So far as the record goes there is nothing 
to intimate that up to this time Cain was the worst man of 
the two, that is, considered from a natural and moral stand- 
point. Cain was no infidel or atheist. He was ready to 
acknowledge the existence of God, he was prepared to wor- 
ship Him after his own fashion. He ** brought of the fruit 
of the ground an offering unto the Lord. ' ' But mark three 
things. First, his offering was a bloodless one, and '^with- 
out shedding of blood is no remission'* (Heb. 9 : 22). Sec- 
ond, his offering consisted of the fruit of his own toil, it 
was the product of his own labors, in a word, it was the 
works of his own hands. Third, he brought of ''the fruit 
of the ground," thus ignoring the Divine sentence recorded 
in Genesis 3:17, ' ' Cursed is the ground. ' ' Abel ' * brought 
of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof," and to 
secure this, sacrifice had to be made, life had to be taken, 
blood had to be shed. The comment of the Holy Spirit upon 
this incident is, that '*By faith Abel offered unto God a 
more excellent sacrifice than Cain" (Heb. 11:4). He does 
not state that Abel was more excellent, but that the offering 
which he presented was more pleasing and acceptable to 
his Maker. 

Next we learn that ' * The Lord had respect unto Abel and 
to his offering," or, as Hebrews 11:4 expresses it, ''God 
testifying of his gifts. ' ' By comparing later Scriptures we 
may justly infer that the manner in which Jehovah showed 
His acceptance of the offering was by fire coming down 
from heaven and consuming the sacrifice (see Lev. 9:24; 
Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chron. 21:26; 2 Chron. 
7:1). "But unto Cain and his offering He had not re- 
spect. ' ' No doubt Cain 's offering was a very beautiful one. 
No doubt he selected the very choicest fruits that could be 
found. No doubt his offering cost him considerable toil 
and labor, and probably it was with no little self-satisfac- 
tion that be came before the Lord. But Jehovah had no 

Cain and Abel 59 

respect unto his gift; there was no visible token of the 
Divine approval; no fire came down from heaven to con- 
sume it in proof of God's acceptance. And Cain's counte- 
nance fell. He was furious that all his labors should stand 
for nothing. He was angry at the thought that he could not 
approach and worship God according to the dictates of his 
own mind. And, as we shall see later, he was filled with 
wrath as he contemplated the exaltation of Abel above him. 
So it is today. Unless the darkened understanding of man 
be illumined by the Holy Spirit and the enmity of the 
carnal mind be subdued, the human heart rebels against the 
idea of the impossibility of approaching God save through 
a bloody sacrifice. The natural man in his pride and self- 
righteousness hates the truths of substitution and expiation 
worse than he hates the Devil. 

"And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? 
and why is thy countenance fallen t" The condition of 
Cain's heart was clearly revealed by his anger at God's 
refusal to receive his offering. His worship, like that of 
multitudes in our day, was merely '*a form of godliness, 
but denying the power thereof" (2 Tim. 3:5), that is, des- 
titute of any genuineness or reality. Had Cain's offering 
been presented in the right spirit there would have been 
no "wroth" when Jehovah refused to accept it, but instead, 
a humble desire to learn God 's will. 

"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And 
if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door ; and unto thee 
shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" (Gen. 
4:7). This verse has always been a difficult one to expos- 
itors and commentators, and we have never yet seen any 
explanation of it that fully satisfied us. The interpreta- 
tion most widely received is as follows: Why art thou 
wroth, Cain? If thou doest well — ^if you will present the 
proper and specified offering it will be accepted; and if 
thou doest not weU — if the offering you brought has been 
rejected the remedy is simple — ^ ' sin lieth at the door, ' ' i. e.j 
a suitable and meet offering, a sin offering is right to your 
hand, and if you present this you shall "have the excel- 
lency" (margin), that is, you shall retain the right of the 
firstborn and have the precedence over Abel your younger 
brother. The Hebrew word here translated sin, is in other 
passages sometimes rendered sin-offering — ^the one Hebrew 
word doing duty for our two English expressions. Though 

60 Gleanings in Genesis 

many of the ablest Bible students have accepted this trans- 
lation and interpretation, we feel obliged to humbly dissent 
from it. And for this reason. Apart from this one doubt- 
ful case (Qen. 4:7), doubtful, as to whether or not the 
Hebrew word should be translated sin or sin-offering — ^there 
IS no other reference in Scripture of any Sin offering before 
the giving of the Law at Sinai. We do read of the patri- 
arch 's presenting burnt and meat offerings, but never of sin 
offerings. In the light of Romans 3 : 20 we firmly believe 
that there was no sin offering before Moses. **By the Law 
is the knowledge of sin. ' ' The Law was given in order that 
sin might be recognized as sin. It was the Law which con- 
victed men of sin and of their need of a sin offering. Hence 
we submit that there was no sin offering before the Law was 
given. Job 1 : 5 supports this contention, ' ^ And it was so, 
when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job 
sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, 
and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them 
all, for Job said. It may be that my sons have sinned and 
cursed (Jod in their hearts" — ^had they sinned after the 
Law was given a sin offering, not a burnt offering, would 
have been needed. What then is the significance of Gen- 
esis 4:7? 

Undoubtedly the words ' * If thou doest well ' ' have refer- 
ence to the bringing of a proper offering to the Lord. In 
case Cain was willing to do this Jehovah asks. ' ' Shalt thou 
not have the excellency" (margin), which means, Shalt 
thou not retain the right of primogeniture over Abelt 
^'And if thou doest not well sin lieth at the door," which 
we understand to mean. If you refuse to bring the reqidred 
offering, sin lieth (Hebrew, is crouching) at the door, and 
like a wild beast is ready to spring upon you and devour 
you. The remainder of the verse referring back to the 
matter of Cain 's rights by virtue of his seniority. 

The use of the word ^ ' And ' ' all through the passage and 
the word ''Also" in verse 4 seem to show that Cain and 
Abel came together to present their offerings unto the Lord. 
Abel's offering was accepted, Cain's was rejected. Prob- 
ably, Cain reasoned from this that there would likely be a 
change in the order of primogeniture and that his younger 
brother should become his ruler. Hence his ''wroth" and 
readiness to kill Abel rather than submit to him. In a word 
Cain intended to be first at all costs. Believing that he had 

Cain and Abel 61 

lost the place and privilege of the firstborn — ^f or only upon 
his bringing of the stipulated offering could he continue to 
rule over his brother — and refusing to sacrifice according 
to God's requirements, and fearing that Abel would now 
be his ruler, he decided that rather than submit to this, he 
would kill his brother. Such we believe to be the real ex- 
planation, the motive, the cause of the first murder. The 
first word of verse 8 which recounts the deed bears this 
out, linking it as it does with the previous verse. 

To summarize our suggested interpretation of verse 7 : 
Cain's offering having been refused, anger filled his heart. 
Jehovah asks him why he is wroth, and tells him there is no 
just cause for his displeasure, and that if he will bring the 
required offering it would be accepted and Cain would then 
retain the rights of the firstborn. At the same time Qod 
faithfully and solemnly warns him of the consequences 
which will follow his refusal to bring the specified sacrifice. 
If his sin is not removed by an expiatory offering, it will 
spring upon and devour him. Cain refused to comply with 
Jehovah's demands and the Divine threat was carried out. 
What an illustration of James 1 : 15 1 ^^ When lust (desire, 
passion) hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin 
when it is finished (consummated), bringeth forth death." 
This was the precise order in Cain 's case : first — ^lust, anger 
— ^then, sin — flying at the door, — ^then, death — ^Abel mur- 

'^And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy 
brother t And he said, I know not. Am I my brother's 
keeper T And He said. What hast thou done t the voice of 
thy brother 's blood crieth unto me from the ground. ' ' Sin 
cannot be hid. There may have been no human witness to 
Cain's crime, but the eye of €k>d had seen it. Solemn is 
the lesson taught here. ''Be not deceived, Ood is not 
mocked." '*Be sure your sin will find you out." **Por 
there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed ; neither 
hid, that shall not be known," are only so many ways of 
stating the same truth. To Jehovah 's pointed inquiry, Cain 
replied, **I know not." How this brings out the inveterate 
evil of the human heart ! There was no contrition, no con- 
fessing of sin, but instead, a repudiation and covering of it. 
So it was with our first parents in Eden, and so it ever is 
with all their descendants until €k>d's grace works effectu- 
ally in us. It is to be noted that we have here the first 

62 Gleanings in Genesis 

mention of ^ ' blood ' ' in Scripture, and like all first mention- 
ings therein, it expresses what is primary and fundamental, 
hinting also at the amplifications of subsequent teaching. 
The blood here was innocent blood, blood shed by wicked 
hands, blood which cried aloud to God. How deeply sig- 
nificant! How it speaks to us of the precious blood of 
Christ ! 

After the Divine inquisition comes the Divine sentence 
upon the guilty one telling of God 's holiness and righteous- 
ness which will not for an instant tolerate sin, ''And now 
art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her 
mouth to receive thy brother 's blood from thy hand. When 
thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto 
thee her strength ; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be 
in the earth. ' ' No matter where he should go in the world 
the ground should be against him, the ground that held the 
blood of his brother, the blood of his victim. The remem- 
brance of his murder should pursue him, so that he would 
not be able to content himself long in any one place. 

' ' And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater 
than I can bear. ' ' Cain now realizes something of what he 
has done, though his mind is occupied more with his pun- 
ishment than with the sin which had caused it. ' ' My pun- 
ishment is greater than I can bear" will be the language of 
the lost in the Lake of Fire. The awful lot of the unsaved 
will be unbearable, and yet it will have to be endured and 
endured for ever. ''From Thy face shall I be hid" cried 
Cain. Though the sinner knows it not, this will be the most 
terrible feature of his punishment — eternally banished from 
God. "Depart from Me ye cursed" will be the fearful 
sentence passed upon the wicked in the day of judgment. 
"And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and 
dwelt in the land of Nod." Nod means "wandering" — 
there is no peace or rest for the wicked : in this world they 
are like the troubled waves of the sea ; in the world to come, 
they shall be like wandering stars, lost in the blackness of 
darkness for ever. My reader, if you reject the Sacrifice of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, Cain's doom shall be your doom. 
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and 
he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the 
wrath of Qod abideth on him. ' ' 


//. Cain and Abel Considered Typically or Representa- 

Cain and Abel stand as the representatives of two great 
classes of people. They typify respectively the lost and the 
saved; the self-righteous and the broken-spirited; the 
formal professor and the genuine believer ; those who rely 
upon their own works, and those who rest upon the finished 
work of Christ ; those who insist upon salvation by human 
merits, and those who are willing to be saved by Divine 
grace ; those who are rejected and cursed by Ood, and those 
who are accepted and blessed. Both Cain and Abel were 
the children of fallen parents, and both of them were bom 
43utside of Eden. Both were, therefore, by nature ' ' children 
of wrath,'' and as such judicially alienated from Qod. 
Both had been shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, and 
hence both stood in need of a Saviour. But, as we shall 
show, Cain denied his ruined and fallen condition and re- 
fused to accept the Remedy God provided; while Abel 
acknowledged his sinnership, believed the Divine testimony, 
put his faith in a sacrificial substitute, and was accounted 
righteous before God. 

In our study of Genesis 3, we saw that before Qod ban- 
ished our first parents from Eden, He revealed to them the 
way of salvation : ''Unto Adam also and to his wife did the 
Lord Qod make coats of skins and clothed them (Gen. 3: 
21 ) . This was the first Gtospel sermon ever preached on this 
earth, preached not by word but by symbol. By clothing 
Adam and Eve with tiiiese skins God taught them four les- 
sons. First, that in order for a guilty sinner to approach 
a holy Qod he needed a suitable covering. Second, that 
the aprons of fig leaves which their own hands had made 
were not acceptable to Him. Third, that God Himself must 
provide the covering. Fourth, that the necessary covering 
could only be obtained through death. Death is the wages 
of sin. Adam and Eve had broken God's command, and 
justice clamored for the execution of law's penalty. Either 
they must die or another must die in their place. Mercy 
can only come in after justice has been satisfied. Grace 


64 Gleanings in Genesis 

reigns ^^ through righteousness/' and never at the expense 
of it. God dealt with Adam and Eve in mercy, but in 
doing so He first met the claims of His broken law. In 
clothing them with skins God showed them by forceful sym- 
bol that sin could only be covered — atoned for, for the 
Hebrew word for atone means ''to cover *' — at the cost of 
sacrifice, by life being taken, by blood being shed. And 
so in Eden itself we find the first type and foreshadowment 
of the Cross of Christ. To Adam and Eve, God preached 
the blessed and basic truth of substitution — the just dying 
for the unjust, the innocent suffering for the guilty. Adam 
and Eve were guilty and merited destruction, but these ani- 
mals died in their stead, and by their death a covering was 
provided to hide their sin and shame. So it is with Christ 
and the believer. In Him I am provided with i robe of 
righteousness — ^''the best robe*' — ^which perfectly satisfies 
the eye of the thrice holy God. 

In Eden then we hear the first Gk)spel message. But not 
only so, in Eden God showed man plainly and unmistakably 
what He required of him. In the slaying of those animals 
from whose bodies the skins were taken to clothe our first 
parents, God revealed the condition upon which alone the 
sinner can approach his Maker, namely, blood-shedding. 
Man must put a substitute between himself and Ood's 
wrath. In the slaying of the animal, the offerer identified 
himself with his offering and acknowledged that he was a 
sinner, that he deserved naught but judgment at Gk)d's 
hands, that death was his legitimate due. In the slaying of 
the offering with which the offerer had identified himself, he 
saw the death of his substitute, the meeting of Gk>d 's claims, 
the satisfying of Divine justice, and that, because his sub- 
stitute had died in his stead, he went free. 

We have again commented somewhat freely upon (Jen- 
esis 3:21 because our understanding of this important 
verse is necessary in order to intelligently apprehend the 
contents of Genesis 4. As we have seen, Adam and Eve 
were clearly and definitely instructed by (Jod Himself con- 
cerning the terms of approach to their Maker. To them He 
explicitly revealed His requirements, and these require- 
ments were made known by Adam and Eve to their chU- 
dren. It is beyond question that Cain and Abel knew that 
in order to come before Jehovah with acceptance they must 
bring with them a bloody offering. Heb. 11 : 4 makes that 

Cain and Abel, continued 65 

fact abundantly clear. It was ''by faith" that Abel pre- 
sented his sacrifice to Gk>d, and Romans 10 : 17 tells us 
"Faith Cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of 
Gody" hence it is evident that he and his brother had 
"heard" of God's requirements. 

"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain 
brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the 
Lord." In bringing such an offering Cain deliberately 
turned his back on God's revealed will and dared to set 
up his own will in defiance. In bringing the offering he did, 
Cain denied that he was a fallen creature — ^the fallen child 
of fallen parents — ^and as such under the sentence of Di- 
vine condemnation. He denied that he was a guilty sinner, 
morally and penally separated from God. He deliberately 
ignored God 's demand for expiation by the death of a sac- 
rificial substitute. He insisted upon approaching God on 
the ground of personal worthiness. Instead of accepting 
God's way, he audaciously went his own way and selected 
an offering which commended itself to his own tastes. He 
offered to God the fruits of the ground which God had 
cursed. He presented the product of his own toil, the work 
of his own hands, and God refused to receive it. 

Cain represents the natural man. He represents those 
who turn their back upon the blood of the Cross and who 
speak of the Atonement as "a doctrine of the shambles." 
He represents that large class of people who reject the fin- 
ished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who think to ob- 
tain salvation by works of righteousness which they have 
done. Cain is the father of the Pharisee, who prides him- 
self that he is the superior of the contritions Publican, and 
who boasts loudly of his morality and religiousness. He is 
the representative of all who pride themselves that they can 
in their own strength live a life which is pleasing to God 
and who can by their own efforts produce that which shall 
merit Divine esteem. 

Jude, verse 11, pronounces a solemn woe upon those who 
have "gone in the way of Cain." To whom does he refer! 
They are those who deny that the whole human race sinned 
and fell in Adam and who are therefore by nature children 
of wrath. They are those who deny that man has been 
driven out of God's presence and that a great gulf is now 
fixed between them. They deny that that gulf can only be 
bridged by the Cross of Christ and that through Him and 

66 Gleanings in Genesis 

His redemption lies the sole way back to the Father. They 
deny that human nature is essentially evil, incurably 
wicked, and under the curse of God. They deny that it is 
absolutely impossible for a clean thing to come out of an 
unclean, and that unless a man be bom again he cannot 
see the Kingdom of God. On the contrary, they declare 
that human nature is essentially good, and that by a proc- 
ess of development and culture it can bring forth good fruit 
— fruit which is acceptable to Grod. They offer this fruit 
unto God in the form of moral character, unselfish deeds 
and charitable works. Their language is, Something in my 
hands I bring, to my goodness I do cling. This is the way 
of Cain. Cain brought of the fruits of the ground which 
God had cursed, and God had no respect unto such an of- 
fering. Human nature is under God's curse, and as like 
can only produce like, it follows that human works — ^the 
best of them — are only the fruits of a cursed ground ; as it 
is written, **A11 our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,'* 
i. e., obnoxious to God. As it was in the beginning, so it 
is now. God has no respect for such offerers and offerings. 
He will not accept them. The only offering that God will 
receive is that which is presented to Him on the ground of 
the merits of His blessed Son. 

''And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock 
and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto 
Abel and to his offering'* (Gen. 4:4). Abel presents a 
sharp antithesis to Cain. In bringing the offering which 
he did Abel confessed that he was a fallen creature, a guilty 
sinner, one at a moral and penal distance from God. He 
bowed to the Divine sentence of condemnation resting upon 
him and owned its justice. He acknowledged that he was 
worthy of death. By offering a lamb he testified that his 
only hope before God lay in a substitute taking his place 
and bearing the penalty which was his due. He presented 
his offering "by faith." That is to say, he believed that 
God would accept this slain lamb, that its shed blood would 
meet all His requirements and satisfy His justice. He had 
heard from the lips of his parents that the only way back 
to God was through sacrifice — through an innocent life 
being offered up on the behalf of the guilty, and having 
heard this he believed it, and believing it he acted upon it. 
This is precisely what constitutes saving faith: It is be- 
lieving God 's Word and acting on it Consider an illustra- 

Cain and Abel, continued 67 

tion in proof : ' ' He said unto Simon, Launch out into the 
deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon 
answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the 
night, and have taken nothing : nevertheless at Thy Word 
I will let down the net ' ' (Luke 5 : 4, 5) . Faith is more than 
an intellectual assent. Faith is the committal of ourselves 
to God's Word. Faith necessarily involves volition, ''/ will 
let down the net. ' ' Faith flies in the face of all carnal rea- 
sonings, feelings and experience and says, *^ Nevertheless ai 
Thy Word I will." Abel then took God at His Word, of- 
fered his sacrifice by faith and was accepted and pro- 
nounced righteous. 

As Cain represents the natural man so Abel typifies the 
spiritual man, the man bom from above, the man created 
anew in Christ Jesus. Abel is the representative of those 
who take God's side against themselves; who accept the 
character which God has given them in His Word; who 
own that they are lost, undone, helpless ; who realize their 
only hope lies outside of themselves in Another, and who 
realizing this, cast themselves upon Gk>d's grace, crying, 
* * Gk)d be merciful to me a sinner. ' ' Abel represents those 
who pin their faith to the atoning sacrifice of Calvary, who 
rest their all both for time and eternity on the redemptive 
work of the Cross, who sing from their hearts, ' * My hope is 
built on nothing less than Jesus ' blood and righteousness. ' ' 
In short, Abel stands as a lasting type of all who receive as 
their substitute and Saviour the Lamb of God which taketh 
away the sin of the world. 

The ultimate difference, then, between Cain and Abel 
was not in their characters, but in their offerings. In one 
word, it was a difference of blood. Abel was accepted be- 
cause he offered to God a bleeding lamb. Cain was rejected 
because he refused to offer such. Here, then, we have 
traced back to their fountain head the two streams which 
empty themselves in Heaven and Hell, namely, the saved 
and the lost, and the dividing line between them in a line 
of blood. That was the difference between the Israelites 
and the Egyptians. On the night when God's avenging 
angel passed through the land of Pharaoh and found a 
house upon whose door blood was sprinkled — ^the blood of 
a lamb, he passed over. But, when he found a house with- 
out blood upon it, he entered and slew the firstborn, from 
the king upon his throne to the prisoner in the dungeon. 

68 Gleanings in Genesis 

This will be the test in the day of judgment — all whose 
names are not found written in the Lamb 's book of life shall 
be cast into the lake of fire. Redemption is to be obtained 
only through Jesus Christ. * ' Whom God hath set forth to 
be a propitiation through faith in His blood" (Bom. 3 : 26). 
Beader, on what is your hope based f If you are relying 
upon your efforts and works, if you are trusting to your 
own goodness and morality to carry you through, you are 
building your house upon a foundation of sand and great 
will be the fall of it. But, if you are trusting in and rely- 
ing upon the merits of the precious blood of Christ, then 
are you building upon the rock, and in that Bock shall you 
find shelter from iJie wrath to come. And now in conclu- 

///. Cain and Abel Considered Dispensationally 

**Now all these things happened unto them for types 
(margin) ; and they are written for our admonition'' (1 
Cor. 10:11). Abel is a striking type of Christ, and his 
murder by Cain was a remarkable f oreshadowment of oui 
Lord's rejection and crucifixion by the Jews. At least 
thirty-five points of resemblance can be traced here between 
type and antitype. In considering Abel as a type of oui 
Lord, it is to be noted that, like Isaac, offered up on the 
altar and the ram caught in a thicket, which afterwards 
took his place in death, we have here a double type also. 
Both Abel and the offering which he brought pointed to the 
Lord Jesus. To make it easier for our readers to follow us, 
we have numbered the different points of agreement in 
type and antitype. 

(1) Abel was a shepherd (Oen. 4:2) and (2) it was as 
a shepherd that he presented his offering unto God. (3) 
Though giving no cause for it, he was hated by his brother. 
As we have shown in the last chapter, Cain was jealous of 
his brother and (4) it was out of **envy" that he slew him. 
(5) Abel then did not die a natural death, but (6) met with 
a violent end at the hand of his own brother. (7) After his 
death God declared that Abel's blood ''cried" unto Him, 
and severe punishment was meted out upon his murderer. 

Turning from Abel himself to his offering, we note: 

(8) Abel presented an offering ''unto God" (Heb. 11:4). 

(9) That the offering which he presented was "the first- 
lings of his flock": in other words, a "lamb." (10) In 

Cain and Abel, continued 69 

bringing his offering ''by faith/' he honored and magni- 
fied the Will and Word of the Lord. (11) The offering 
which Abel presented is described as an ''excellent'' one 
(Heb, 11:4), (12) God had "respect unto Abel and to 
his offering": in other words, He accepted them. (13) In 
the presentation of his offering Abel ' ' obtained witness that 
he was righteous" (Heb. 11:4). (14) After he had pre- 
sented his offering, God publicly ' ' testified ' ' His acceptance 
of it. (15) Finally, Abel's offering still "speaks" to (Jod 
— '^By it he being dead yet speakethJ* 

The type is perfect at every point (1) Our Lord is a 
"shepherd" — ^the Good Shepherd — and (2) it was as the 
Shepherd He presented His offering to God (John 10: 11). 
(3) Though giving no cause for it, He was hated by His 
brethren according to the flesh (John 15 : 25). (4) It was 
through "envy" that He was delivered up to be crucified 
(Matt. 27 : 18). (5) Our Lord did not die a natural death. 
He was "slain" by wicked hands (Acts 2:23). (6) He 
was crucified by "The House of Israel" (Acts 2:36), His 
own brethren according to the flesh. (7) After His death 
our Lord's murderers were severely punished by (Jod 
(Mark 12: 9). 

Turning from Himself to His offering we note : (8) The 
Lord Jesus presented an offering "to God" (Eph. 5:2). 
(9) The offering He presented was Himself — a "Lamb" 
(1 Peter 1 : 19). (10) In presenting Himself as an offering 
He honored and magnified the Will and Word of Gk)d 
(Heb. 10:7-9). (11) The offering Christ presented was 
an "excellent" one — ^it was a "sweet smelling savor" 
(Eph. 5:2). (12) God accepted His offering: the proof 
of this is seen in the fact that He is now seated at God's 
right hand (Heb. 10:12). (13) While presenting Him- 
self on the Cross as an offering to God, He ' ' obtained wit- 
ness that He was righteous ' ' — the centurion crying? ' ' Cer- 
tainly this was a righteous man" (Luke 23 : 47) . (14) God 
publicly testified His acceptance of Christ's offering by 
raising Him from the dead (Acts 2 : 32). (15) Christ's of- 
fering now "speaks" to God (Heb. 12 : 24). 

Just as Abel and his offering are, at every point, a won- 
derful type of Christ and His offering, so Cain, who slew 
Abel, prefigures the Jews, who crucified their Messiah. 
(16) Cain was "a tiller of the ground" ((Jen. 4:2). Thus 
the first thing told us about him connects him with the land. 

70 Gleanings in Genesis 

(17) In refusing to bring the required lamb, Cain rejected 
the offering which Qod's grace had provided. (18) In his 
self -righteousness Cain brought an offering of his own 
choosing. (19) The offering he brought was the product 
of his own labors. (20) This offering was rejected by God. 
(21) It was Cain's God-given privilege to rule over his 
brother (Gen. 4: 7). (22) This privilege he forfeited. (23) 
Being envious of Abel, he wickedly slew him. (24) God 
charged him with his crime. (25) God told him that Abel's 
blood cried for vengeance. (26) Because of the shedding 
of his brother's blood, God's curse fell upon Cain. (27) 
Part of his punishment consisted in the ground becoming 
barren to him (Gen. 4:12). (28) Further, he was to be 
a fugitive and vagabond in the earth. (29) Cain acknowl- 
edged that his punishment was greater than he could bear. 

(30) Because of his sin, he was ** driven out" (Gen. 4: 14). 

(31) Because of his sin, he was hidden from God's face. 

(32) Every man's hand was now against him (Gen. 4: 14). 
(33) God set a mark upon him (Gen. 4: 15). (34) God de- 
clared that He would visit with a sevenfold vengeance 
those who slew Cain. (35) Cain left the land and went 
and dwelt in a city (Gen. 4: 17). 

Turning once more to the antitype, let us note how accu- 
rately Cain foreshadowed the history of Israel. (16) The 
first thing which is conspicuous about the Jews was that 
they were the people of a land — ^the promised land, the 
Holy Land (Gen. 13:15). (17) In refusing the Lamb of 
God (John 1:11) the Jews rejected the offering which 
God's grace had provided. (18) The apostle Paul declares 
that the Jews were ^'ignorant of God's righteousness and 
going about to establish their own righteousness" (Bom. 
10 : 3). (19) The Jews rested upon their own obedience to 
(Jod's Law (Rom. 9 : 21). (20) But God had no respect to 
their works (Acts 13:39). (21) Had Israel walked in 
God's statutes they would have been the head of the na- 
tions (Deut. 28 : 13). (22) But through sin they forfeited 
the place and privilege (Isa. 9 : 14). (23) It was the Jews 
who crucified the Christ of God (Acts 5:30). (24) God 
charged them with their crime (Acts 2:22* 23). (25) 
Christ's blood is now judicially resting ^*upon" the Jews 
(Matt. 27:25). (26) Because of the crucifixion of their 
Messiah, God's curse fell upon Israel (Jer. 24:9). (27) 
Part of the curse which God threatened of old to bring 

Cain and Abel, continued 71 

upon Israel was the barrenness of their land — ^'^ desolate" 
(Lev. 26:34, 35). (28) The Jew has been an age-long 
wanderer in the earth (Deut. 28 : 65). (29) Israel will yet 
acknowledge their punishment is greater than they can 
bear (Zech. 12:10). (30) Forty years after the Cruci- 
fixion, Israel was driven out of Palestine. (31) Since then 
God's face has been hid from them (Hos. 1 : 9). (32) For 
nigh 2,000 years, almost every man's hand has been against 
the Jew (Deut. 28 : 66). (33) A mark of identification has 
been placed upon the Jew so that he can be recognized any- 
where. (34) God's special curse has always rested on those 
who have cursed Israel (Gen. 12:3). (35) For the most 
part, even to this day, the Jews continue to congregate in 
large cities. 

Upon what ground can we account for this remarkable 
agreement between type and antitype? The only possible 
explanation lies in the supernatural inspiration of the Old 
Testament Scriptures. The Holy Spirit ** moved'' the 
writer of Genesis. Only He who knew the end from the 
beginning could have foreshadowed so accurately and mi- 
nutely that which came to pass thousands of years after- 
wards. Prophecy, either in direct utterance or in symbolic 
type, is the Divine autograph upon the sacred page. May 
God continue to strengthen our faith in the divinity, the 
authority and the absolute sufficiency of the Holy Oracles. 

Genesis 5 

In our comments upon the fourth chapter of Gtenesis, we 
noted how that the descendants of Adam followed two dis- 
tinct lines of worship through Cain and Abel, Abel wor- 
shipping Qod by faith and bringing a bleeding sacrifice as 
the ground of his approach ; Cain, ignoring the double fact 
that he was depraved by nature because descended from 
fallen parents, and a sinner by choice and deed and, there- 
fore, rejecting the vicarious expiation prescribed by grace, 
tendered only the product of his own labors, which was 
promptly refused by his Maker. The remainder of the 
chapter traces the godless line of Cain down to the seventh 
generation, and then closes with an account of the birth of 
Seth — the appointed successor of Abel and the one from 
whom the chosen race and the Messiah should come. 

Genesis 5 begins a new section and traces for us the line 
of Seth. The opening words of this chapter are worthy of 
close attention. No less than ten times we find in Genesis 
this phrase, * * These are the generations of , " (see 2 : 4 ; 6:9; 
10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1; 36:9; 37: 
2) ; but here in Genesis 5 : 1 there is an important addition 
— ^^This is the hook of the generations of Adam. ' ' Nowhere 
else in Genesis, nor, indeed, in the Old Testament (compare 
Num. 3:1 and Ruth 4:18), does this form of expression 
recur. But we do find it once more when we open the New 
Testament, and there it meets us in the very first verse! 
*^The hook of the generation of Jesus Christ.''* This is 
deeply significant and a remarkable proof of verhal inspira- 

Why, theUy should there be these two different forms of 
expression, and only these two^Genesis 5 : 1 and Matthew 
1 : 1 — exceptions to the usual form ? Surely the answer is 
not far to seek. Are not these the two books of Federal 
Headship ? In the first book — ' * The hook of the generations 

* Students of Scripture Numerics will observe above that there are just 
thirteen of these "grenerations" recorded in the Old Testament — the number 
of rebellion and apostasy (see Gen. 14:4). It is man's ruin fully told 
out ! Thirteen was all that the law could reveal ! But grace and truth 
came by Jesus Christ, hence, He added (Matt. 1:1) to the Old Testament. 
Fourteen gives us double perfection — perfect God and perfect Man. Or, 
taking the multiples separately, we have division or difference (the signifi- 
cance of two) and completeness (seven). What a complete difference the 
fourteenth — "The generation of Jesus Christ" — has made! 


Enoch 78 

of Adam ' ' — are enrolled the names of the fallen descendants 
of the first man ; in the second — ^ ' The book of the genera- 
tion of Jesus Christ" — are inscribed the names of all who 
have been redeemed by sovereign grace. One is the Book 
of Death ; the other is the Lamb 's Book of Life. 

"The book of the genera- **The book of the genera- 
tions of Adam, * ^ tion of Jesus Christ, ' ' 

and do we not see the marvelous unity of the two Testa- 
ments? The whole of the Bible centers around these two 
books — ^the book of the generations of Adam, and the book 
of the generation of Jesus Christ. 

But what is the force of this word * ' generations ' ' 1 Here 
the law of First Mention will help us. The initial occur- 
rence of this expression defines its scope. When we read 
in Genesis 2:4*' These are the generations of the heavens 
and of the earth" the reference is not to origin but to de- 
velopment. Had Genesis 2 : 4 been intended to supply in- 
formation as to how the heavens and the earth were pro- 
duced, this expression would have occurred at the com- 
mencement of Genesis 1, which treats of that subject. 
Again, when we read of * * The generations of Noah ' ' ( Gen. 
6:9) it is not to give us the ancestry of this patriarch — 
that is found in Genesis 5— but to tell us who were his 
descendants, as the very next verse goes on to show. * ' Gen- 
erations, ' ' then, means history, development, and not origin. 
Try this key in each lock and you will find it fits perfectly. 
"The generations (or history) of the heavens and of the 
earth. * * So here in Genesis 5 : 1. From this point onwards 
we have the history and development of Adam's progeny. 
So, too, of Matthew 1 : 1. What is the New Testament but 
the history and development of Jesus Christ and His 

As we have stated, chapter five opens a new section of 
Genesis. Righteous Abel has been slain, and all the de- 
scendants of Cain are doomed to destruction by the Flood. 
It is from Seth that there shall issue Noah, whose children, 
coming out of the Ark, shall replenish the earth. Hence it 
is that we are here taken back once more to the beginning. 
Adam is again brought before us — fallen Adam — ^to show 
us the source from which Seth sprang. 

Two sentences in the opening verses of this chapter 
(Gen. 5) need to be carefully compared and contrasted. 

74 Gleanings in Genesis 

' ' In the day that Qod created man, in the likeness of Ood 
made He him/^ Gen. 5:1. '^And Adam. . .begat a son in 
his own likeness, after his image/' Gen. 5 : 3. By sin Adam 
lost the image of God and became corrupt in his nature and 
a fallen parent could do no more than beget a fallen child. 
Seth was begotten in the likeness of a sinful father I Since 
Noah was the direct descendant of Seth and is the father 
of us all, and since he was able to transmit to us only that 
which he had, himself, received from Seth, we have here 
the doctrine of universal depravity. Every man living in 
the world today is, through Noah and his three sons, a 
descendant of Seth, hence it is that care is here taken at the 
beginning of this new section to trace the spring back to its 
fountain head, and show how all are, by nature, the fallen 
offspring of a fallen parent — ^that we have all been be- 
gotten in the image and likeness of a corrupt and sinful 

Until we reach the twenty-first verse of Genesis 5, there 
is little else in the chapter which calls for comment. The 
intervening verses trace for us the line of Sethis seed, and 
death is writ large across the record. Eight times we read, 
' ' And he died. ' ' But in verses 21 to 24 we have a notable 
exception. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, died not. He 
was translated without seeing death. And to the consid- 
eration of this remarkable man we shall now direct our at- 

Enoch is a striking character. He is one of but two men 
of whom it is said in Scripture that he "walked with God." 
He is one of but two men who lived on this earth and went 
to heaven without passing through the portals of death. 
And he is the only one, except our blessed Lord, of whom it 
is written, ' * He pleased God. * '* He is one of the very few 
who lived before the Flood of whom we know anything at 
all. The days when Enoch lived on the earth were flagrant- 
ly wicked, as the Epistle of Jude plainly shows. He seems 
to have stood quite alone in his fearless denunciation of the 
ungodly and in his faithful testimony for God. Very little 
is recorded of him, which is another proof of the Divine 
inspiration of the Scriptures — a truth which cannot be over- 
emphasized. Had the Bible been a human production, 
much would have been written about Enoch and an attempt 

^In this, as in eYerything, our Lord has the preeminence. He alone 
oould say, *'I do aliooyc those things that please Him !" 

Enoch 75 

made to show the cause and explain the method of his mys- 
terious exit from this world. The silence of Holy Scripture 
attest their Divine origin! But though little is told us 
about Enoch, a careful examination of what is recorded 
suggests and supplies a wonderfully complete biography. 

* * And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methu- 
selah: And Enoch walked with Qod after he begat Me- 
thuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daugh* 
ters : And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty 
and five years. And Enoch walked with Ood : and he was 
not ; for God took him. ' ' (Gen. 5 : 21-24) . 

The first thing implied in Enoch's walk with God is 
recondliaUon. A pertinent question is asked in Amos 3 : 3, 
"How can two walk together except they be agreed f 
Thus two walking together supposes agreement, sympathy, 
harmony. From the nature of the case, it is implied that 
one of the two had been at enmity with the other and that 
there had been a reconciliation. So that when we say of 
any man that he walks with God, it implies that he has been 
reconciled to God. God has not conformed to him, but he 
has conformed to God. 

To walk with Gtod implies a correspondency of nature. 
Light hath no communion with darkness. No sinner can 
walk with God for he has nothing in common with Him, 
and more, his mind is at enmity against Him. It is sin 
which separates from God. The day that Adam sinned he 
fled from his Maker and hid himself among the trees of the 
garden. A walk with God then supposes the judicial put- 
ting away of sin and the impartation of the Divine nature 
to the one who walked with Him. 

To walk with God implies a moral fitness. God does not 
walk out of the way of holiness. Before God would walk 
through Israel's camp everything which defiled had to be 
put away. Before Christ commences His millennial reign 
all things that offend must be gathered out of His Kingdom. 
The thrice holy God keeps no company with the unclean. 
"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in 
darkness, we lie, and do not the truth : But, if we walk in 
the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with 
another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us 
from all sin. " 1 John 1 : 6, 7. In a sentence, then, walking 
with God means that we cease taking our own way, that 
we abandon the world 's way, that we follow the Divine way. 

76 Gleanings in Genesis 

To walk with God implies a surrendered will. Ood does 
not force His company upon any. * * How can two walk to- 
gether except they be agreed t ' ' The supreme example and 
illustration is the Lord Jesus. None enjoyed such perfect 
and intimate communication with the Father as He. And 
what was the secret of it all? **I delight to do Thy mil, 
God, ' ' supplies the explanation. If, then, we would walk 
with the Lord, there must be a willingness and readiness 
on our part. ^^Take My yoke upon you.'' He does not 
force it on any ! 

To walk with God implies sptritical communion. **How 
can two walk together except they be agreed 1 ' ' The word 
* ' walk ' ' suggests steady progress. It has been quaintly but 
well said, Enoch * * did not take a turn or two with Gk)d and 
then leave His company, but he walked with God for hun- 
dreds of years. What a splendid walk ! A walk of three 
hundred years! It was not a run, a leap, a spurt^ but a 
steady walk. ' ' 

**And Enoch walked with God.'* What light that one 
word casts on the life and character of this man! How 
much it reveals to us. Like every other descendant of 
Adam, Enoch was by nature a child of wrath, alienated 
from the life of Gk)d. But a day came when he was recon- 
ciled to his Maker. If it be asked, What was the cause of 
this reconciliation? Hebrews 11:5 supplies the answer — 
Enoch '*had this testimony, that he pleased God.'' If it be 
further asked. How did he please God t the very next verse 
informs us, '* Without faith it is impossible to please Him." 
Faith then was the instrumental cause of his reconciliation. 
Again we say, how much that one sentence tells us about 
this *' seventh from Adam"! Born into this world a lost 
sinner, he is saved by grace through faith. He is born again 
and thus made a partaker of the Divine nature. He is 
brought into agreement with the Most High and fitted to 
have fellowship with the Holy One. 

But from the analogy of other Scriptures, by comparing 
text with text we may learn still more about this man who 
** pleased God. " What would be the result of his walk with 
God? Would not the first consequence of such a walk be 
a growth in grace? Walking implies progress, and that in 
a forward direction. Enoch's life must have been progres- 
aive. At the close of three hundred years of communion 

Enoch 77 

with God, Enoch could not be morally and spiritually where 
he was at the beginning. He would have a deeper abhor- 
rence of sin and a humbler estimate of himself. He would 
be more conscious of his own helplessness and would feel 
more and more his need of absolute dependency on God. 
There would be a larger capacity to enjoy God. There 
would be a going on from strength to strength and from 
glory to glory. 

There would also be a growth in the knowledge of the 
Lord. It is one thing to talk about God, to reason and 
specidate about Him, to hear and read about Him, it is 
quite another to know Him. This is the practical and ex- 
perimental side of the Christian life. If we would know 
God we must walk with Him: we must come into living 
contact with Him, have personal dealings with Him, com- 
mune with Him. After such a walk of three hundred years 
Enoch would have a deeper appreciation of God's excel- 
lency, a greater enjoyment of His perfections and would 
manifest a more earnest concern for His glory. 

Another consequence of Enoch's walk with God would 
be a deep settled joy and peace. Enoch's life must have 
been supremely happy. How could he be miserable with 
such a Companion I He could not be gloomy in such com- 
pany. **Tea, though I walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death I will fear no evil : for Thou art toith me.*' 
Walking with God ensures protection. He that dwelleth in 
the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the 
shadow of the Almighty. Nothing can harm the man who 
has the Lord God at his right hand. 

A further consequence of Enoch's walk was his witness 
for Ood — ^see Jude 14 and 15. This is something which 
needs to be stressed. This order cannot be reversed, it is 
of Divine appointment. Before we can witness for God, 
we must walk with God. It is greatly to be feared that 
much of what passes for ** Christian service" in our day 
is not the product of such a walk, and that it will prove 
but **wood, hay and stubble" in the day of testing. There 
is something which must precede service, * * Thou shalt wor- 
ship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.'* 

Having considered at some length the character of 
Enoch's walk, let us in closing note two other things, the 
eommencement and the culmination of this walk. 

78 Gleanings in Genesis 

'^ And Enoch lived sixty and five years and begat Methu- 
selah: And Enoch walked with Qod" (Qen. 5:21, 22). 
It is not said that Enoch walked with God before his son 
was born, and the inference seems to be that the coming 
into his life of this little one — God's gift — ^may have been 
the means of leading him into this close fellowship. Such 
ought ever to be the case. The responsibilities of parent- 
hood should cast us more and more upon God. 

The name of his son strongly implies that Enoch had re- 
ceived a revelation from God. Methuselah signifies, ^^ When 
he is dead it shall he sent/' i. 6., the Deluge (Newberry). 
In all probability then, a Divine revelation is memorialized 
in this name. It was as though God had said to Enoch, 
' ' Do you see that baby f The world will last as long as he 
lives and no longer! When that child dies, I shall deal 
with the world in judgment. The windows of heaven will 
be opened. The fountains of the great deep will be broken 
up, and all humanity will perish.'' What would be the 
effect of such a communication upon Enoch f Imagine for 
a moment a parallel case today. Suppose God should make 
known to you, in such a way that you could not question 
His veracity, that this world would last only as long as the 
life of some little one in your home. Suppose God should 
say to you, * * The life of that little one is to be the life of 
the world. When that child dies the world will be de- 
stroyed. ' ' What would be the effect upon you t Not know- 
ing how soon that child might die, there would come before 
you the possibility that the world might perish at any time. 
Every time that child fell sick the world's doom would 
stare you in the face! Suppose further, that you were 
unsaved. Would you not be deeply exercised 1 Would you 
not realize as never before your urgent need of preparing 
to meet Godt Would you not at once begin to occupy 
yourself with spiritual things? May not some such ef- 
fects have been produced upon Enoch? Be this as it may 
— and it is difficult to escape such a conclusion — ^it is cer- 
tainly implied that from the time Methuselah was born, 
the world lost all its attractiveness for Enoch and from that 
time on, if never before, he walked with God. 

^^By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see 
death and was not found, because God had translated him : 
for before his translation he had this testimony, that he 

Enoch 79 

pleased God" (Heb. 11:5). Qod had translated him.* 
After Enoch had lived on earth the great cycle — ^a year for 
a day— of three hundred and sixty-five years, God took him 
to Himself, as if to show that he was an example of a human 
being, who had fulfilled his destiny, and a type of what the 
destiny of all mankind might have been had sin never en- 
tered the world (Bettex). 

God had translated him. We cannot do better than quote 
here from Dr. B. H. Carroll's exposition of Genesis — a 
work from which many original and excellent suggestions 
may be gathered: ^^Qod translated him. This is an old 
Latin word, an irregular verb, and it simply means carried 
over or carried across. God carried him across. Across 
what f Across death. Death is the river that divides this 
world from the world to come, and here was a man that 
never did go through that river at all. When he got there 
God carried him across. Gk>d transferred him; translated 
him ; God picked him up and carried him over and put him 
on the other shore. And walking along here in time and 
communing with God by faith, in an instant he was com- 
muning with God by sight in another world. Faith, Oh, 
precious faith! Faith had turned to sight, and hope had 
turned to fruition in a single moment. The life of faith 
was thus crowned by entrance into the life of perfect fel- 
lowship above, ^'And they shall walk with Me in white" 
(Rev. 3:4). 

In conclusion, we would point out the fact that Enoch is 
a tjfpe of those believers who shall be alive on the earth 
when our Lord shall descend into the air to catch up to 
Himself His blood bought people '^Behold, I show you a 
mystery; We shall not all sleep (die)j but we shall be all 
changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 
15 : 51, 52). Just as Enoch was translated to heaven with- 
out seeing death, so also will those of the Lord 's people who 
remain on the earth till the time of His return. May it be 
ours to **walk with God" during the short interval that 
now intervenes, and, if it pleaseth Him, may we be among 
that number which shall be raptured to glory without hav* 
ing to first pass through the portals of the grave. 

*"0od bad translated him." Here again, by contrast we see the unique* 
nesa of our blessed Lord. He alone aacended to heaven (John 3: 13) — ^thls 
by Yirtue of His own rights and b/ the exercise of His own power. Of 
Bnoch it is said. "God took him." Of Elijah it is written. "Elijah went up 
bj a whirlwind into heayen." At the second coming of Christ the saints 
win be "caught up." 

10. NOAH 
Genesis 6 

Little is told us of the parentage of Noah, yet sufficient 
is revealed to indicate that he was the descendant of believ- 
ing ancestors and the child of a God-fearing father. Noah 
was the grandson of Methuselah, and the great grandson 
of Enoch who was translated to heaven. The name of his 
father was Lamech, and on the birth of his son we are told 
that ''he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall 
comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, be- 
cause of the ground which the Lord hath cursed *' (Gen. 
5 : 29) . That Lamech was a man of faith appears from the 
fact that he attributed his ''toil'* and the condition of the 
ground to the Lord 's ' ' curse. ' * Further, it seems as though 
God had revealed to him something of His future purposes 
in connection with Noah in that he looked on him as one 
that was to bring ' ' comfort * * or " rest. ' ' 

The times in which Noah lived and the condition of the 
world then serve as a dark background to bring out in vivid 
relief the faith and righteousness of the one who was ' ' per- 
fect in his generations" and "walked with God.*' "And 
God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, 
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was 
only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He 
had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His 
heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have 
created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, 
and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it 
repenteth Me that I have made man" (Gen. 6 : 5-7). What 
a terrible scene was here spread before the all-seeing eye of 
God, and how startling the contrast between it and the 
one on which He had looked at the close of the six days' 
work! There we are told, "God saw everything that He 
had made, and, behold, it was very good'' (Gen. 1:31). 
But here, the next time we read that "God saw'* we are 
told that "the wickedness of man was great in the earth.'* 
How awful is sin, and how fearful its course when unre- 
strained by God ! 

But there is another, and a blessed contrast here, too. 
After we read of the greatness of man 's wickedness and the 


Enoch 81 

consequent grief of God's heart, we are told, **But Noah 
found grace in the eyes of the Lord'' (Gen. 6:8). There 
was an oasis in the midst of the dreary desert, an oasis 
which the grace of God had prepared, and on which His 
eyes dwelt. When beholding the wicked we read only that 
God **saw,' but when Noah is in view the '*eyes of the 
Lord" are mentioned. A look at the former was sufficient; 
but something more definite and protracted greeted the lat- 
ter. Before we study the Character of Noah, a word first 
on the one following the last quoted. 

' * These are the generations of Noah * ' ( Gen. 6:9). Here 
a new section of Genesis commences. The Chronology of 
Genesis having been brought up to Noah's day in Genesis 
5| the opening verses of Genesis 6 look backward not for- 
ward, giving us the history of the world and describing the 
character of mankind in the days which preceded the Flood 
Verses 5 to 8 of Genesis 6 close the second main division 
of the book. Each new division opens with the words 
** These are the generations of,'* see 2:4; 5:1; 6 : 19, etc. 
The thought to which we would now call attention is that 
each of these divisions ends (we use the word relatively) 
with a picture that portrays the effects and results of sin. 
The first division (the concluding verses of Genesis 4, closes 
with the record of Abel 's murder by Cain, and of Lamech 's 
glorying over a young man whom he had slain. The second 
division closes (Gen. 6:1-8) with God looking down on the 
wickedness of the Antediluvians. The third division closes 
(Gen. 9: 20-29) with the sad scene of Noah's drunkenness, 
the curse pronounced on a part of his descendants, and the 
patriarch's death. The fourth division closes (Gen. 11:1- 
9) by bringing before us the overthrow of the Tower of 
Babel. The fifth division closes (Gen. 11 : 10-26) with the 
births, ages, and deaths of Shem's descendants. The sixth 
division closes (Gen. 11:31, 32) with the death of Terah. 
The seventh division closes (Gen. 25 : 10, 11) with the burial 
of Abraham. The eighth division closes (Gen. 25 : 18) with 
the death of Ishmael. The ninth division closes (Gen. 35: 
29) with the death of Isaac. The tenth division closes 
(Gen. 36 : 8) with the departure of Esau from the promised 
land, the birthright to which he had sold for a mess of 
pottage. The eleventh division closes (Gen. 36) with a list 
of the descendants of Esau, and significantly ends with the 
words, **He is Esau the father of the Edomites,** While 

82 Gleanings in Genesis 

the last division closes (Gen. 1:26) with the death of 

**But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord*' (Gkn. 
6:8). This is the first thing that is told us about Noah. 
Orace is the foundation of every life that is well-pleasing 
to God. Grace is the source from which issues every bless- 
ing we receive. It was the grace of God and not the graces 
of Noah which preserved him from a watery grave. Is it 
not beautiful to note that it is here this precious word 
'* grace*' is seen for the first time in God's Word! It was 
when the sin of the creature had reached its climax that 
Grace was exercised and displayed, as if to teach us from 
the onset, that it is nothing within man which calls forth 
the bestowment of Divine favors. 

When God said, * * I will destroy man whom I have created 
from the face of the earth ; both man, and beast, and the 
creeping thing, and the fowls of the air," it seemed as if 
He was about to make an end of the entire race. But Noah 
found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was as a lily 
among the thorns, whose godly walk would appear the 
lovelier from contrast with that of the world about him. 
Humanly speaking it has never been an easy matter for the 
believer to live that life that brings glory to God, not even 
when he receives encouragement from fellow-saints. But 
here was a man living in a world of wickedness, where ^^all 
flesh had corrupted his way on the earth. ' ' Here was a man 
who was compelled to set his face against the whole current 
of public opinion and conduct. What a testimony to the 
sufBciency and keeping power of Divine grace ! 

The character of Noah is described in Genesis 6 : 9 where 
three things are told us about him : ^ ^ Noah was a just man 
and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. * ' 
first, he was * ' just. ' ' He is the first man so called, though 
not the first man who was so. The meritorious ground of 
justification is the Blood of Christ (Rom. 5:9); the instru^ 
mental cause is faith (Bom. 5:1). The just shall live by 
faith, hence we find Noah among the fifteen believers men- 
tioned in the great faith chapter (Heb. 11). The faith by 
which Noah was justified before God was evidenced by him 
being * ' moved with fear ' ' and in his obedience to the Divine 
command to build the ark. Second, he was ** perfect in his 
generations.'* Here the reference seems to point to Noah 
and his family having kept themselves separate from the 

Noah 83 

moral evil around them and preserved themselves from 
contact with the Nephilim. The Hebrew word is '*tamim*' 
and is elsewhere translated in the Old Testament '^without 
blemish" forty-four times. It is probably the word from 
which our English * * contaminated ' * springs. Noah was un- 
contaminated in his generations. Third, he '^walked with 
God/' It is only as we walk with Him that we are kept 
from the evil around us. 

The faith of Noah is described in Hebrews 11 : 7 : * * By 
faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, 
moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house ; 
by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the 
righteousness which is by faith. ' ' In this remarkable verse, 
remarkable for its fulness and terseness, seven things are 
told us about Noah's faith, each of which we do well to 
ponder. The first thing we learn here of Noah's faith is 
its ground, namely, God's Word — ^'^ being warned of God." 
The ground of all faith which is acceptable to God is that 
which rests neither on feelings nor fancy, but on the naked 
Word. ** Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 
Word of Gk)d" (Rom. 10:17). Simon and his partners 
had fished from sunset to sunrise and their labors had been 
in vain. The Lord entered their ship and said, ** Launch 
out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught," 
and Simon replied, ** Master, we have toiled all the night, 
and have taken nothing : nevertheless, at Thy word I will 
let down the net" (Luke 5:4, 5). Once again: for many 
days the ship in which the apostle was journeying to Italy 
battled with stormy seas, until all hope that he and his 
feUow passengers should be saved had disappeared. Then 
it was, when everything to the outward eye seemed to con- 
tradict, that Paul stood forth and said, **Sirs, be of good 
cheer : for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told 
me" (Acts 27:25). A faith that does not rest upon the 
written word is mere credulity. 

The second thing mentioned in connection with Noah's 
faith is its sphere. His faith laid hold of things '^not seen 
as yet," that is, of things which pertained to the realm of 
the unseen. Believers walk by faith and not by sight (2 
Cor. 5:7). As Noah labored at the building of the ark, 
doubtless, the world looked upon him as an enthusiastic 
fanatic, as one who was putting himself to a great deal of 
needless trouble. What was there to portend such a calam- 

84 Gleanings in Genesis 

ity as the Deluge f Nothing at all. All things continued 
as they were from the beginning of creation. History fur- 
nished no analogy whatever. Not only had there never 
been any previous flood, but even rain was then unknown. 
What then could induce Noah to act in the way he didf 
Nothing but the testimony of God. Here then is an ex- 
emplification and demonstration of the nature of faith. 
Faith is the eye of the spirit. It is that which visualizes 
the unseen; it is that which gives tangibility to the in- 
visible ; it is that which makes substantial the things hoped 

In the third place we learn here of the character of 
Noah's faith — it was ** moved with fear.** Faith not only 
relies upon the precious promises of God, but it also be- 
lieves His solemn threatenings. As the beloved Spurgeon 
said, *'He who does not believe that God will punish sin, 
will not believe that He will pardon it through the atoning 
blood. He who does not believe that God will cast unbe- 
lievers into hell, will not be sure that He will take believers 
to heaven. If we doubt God's Word about one thing, we 
shall have small confidence in it upon another thing. Since 
faith in God must treat all Grod 's Word alike ; for the faith 
which accepts one word of Gtod, and rejects another, is 
evidently not faith in God, but faith in our own judgment, 
faith in our own taste." Noah had received from God a 
gracious promise, but he had also been warned of a coming 
judgment which should destroy all living things with a 
flood, and his faith believed both the promise and the warn- 
ing. Again, we need the admonition of Mr. Spurgeon — *' * I 
charge you who profess to be the Lord 's, not to be unbeliev- 
ing with regard to the terrible threatenings of God to the 
ungodly. Believe the threat, even though it should chill 
your blood ; believe, though nature shrinks from the over- 
whelming doom, for, if you do not believe, the act of disbe- 
lieving God about one point will drive you to disbelieve 
Him upon the other parts of revealed truth, and you will 
never come to that true, childlike faith which God will ac- 
cept and honor. ' ' 

Fourth, we see the evidence of Noah's faith — he ** pre- 
pared an ark. " ' ' Faith, if it hath not works is dead, being 
by itself" (Jas. 2:17), which means, it is a lifeless faith, 
a merely nominal faith, and not the * * faith of God 's elect ' ' 
(Titus 1:1). To the same effect: ''What doth it proflt, 

Noah 85 

my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not 
works'' (Jas. 2: 14). The Apostle Paul writes of the jus- 
tification of believing sinners ; James writes of the justifica- 
tion of faith itself, or rather, the claim to be in possession 
of faith. I profess to be a believer, how shall I justify my 
claim t By my works, my walk, my witness for God. Bead 
through Hebrews 11 and it will be seen that in every case 
recorded there, faith was evidenced by works. Abel had 
faith. How did he display it T By presenting to Qod the 
Divinely preserved sacrifice. Enoch had faith. How did 
he manifest itt By walking with Qod. Noah had faith. 
How did he evidence it T By preparing the ark. And mark 
this also — faith expresses itself in that which costs its pos- 
sessor something ! The preparing of the ark was no small 
undertaking. It was not only a very laborious and pro- 
tracted task, but it must have been a very expensive one, 
too. It has ever been thus ; Abraham was the father of the 
faithful, and his faith found expression and resulted in 
that which meant personal sacrifice. To Abraham it meant 
leaving home, kindred and country, and subsequently the 
offering up of his well beloved son on the altar of sacrifice. 
What is it costing you to express your faith t A faith that 
does not issue in that which is costly is not worth much. 

Fifth, we see the issue of Noah's faith — ^Noah *' prepared 
an ark to the saving of his house. ' ' Qod always honors real 
faith in Him. The particular issue of Noah 's faith deserves 
prayerful consideration. While it is true that there is no 
such thing as salvation by proxy, that no parent can believe 
to the saving of his child's soul, yet, Scripture furnishes 
many examples of God's blessings coming upon those who 
exercised no faith themselves on account of the faith of 
others. Because Abraham exercised faith, God gave to his 
seed the land of Palestine. Because Bahab believed the re- 
port of the spies, her whole household was preserved from 
destruction. Coming to the New Testament, we remember 
such cases as the man sick of the palsy, who was brought 
to the Lord Jesus by others — * ' And Jesus seeing their faith 
said unto the sick of the palsy : Son, be of good cheer ; thy 
sins be forgiven thee" (Matt. 8:2). Because of the noble- 
man's faith, his servant was healed. Because of the Ga- 
naanitish woman's faith, her daughter was made whole. 
Noah's faith then issued in the temporal salvation of ^^ his 
house. ' ' Is not this written for our learning T Is there no 

86 Gleanings in Genesis 

word of eneouragement here for believing parents today 
who have unsaved children T Do we remember the word 
spoken to the Philippian jailor — '^ Believe on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy htmse' '^-do 
we appropriate it and plead it before God T 

Sixth, we learn of the mtness of Noah's faith — ^'^by which 
he condemned the world." In considering this clause we 
would first inquire into the nature of faith. What is faith f 
In Bom. 14 : 23, we read, ' ' Whatsoever is not of faith is 
sin. ' ' Faith is the opposite of sin. What then is sin T The 
divinely inspired answer is found in 1 John 3 : 4 — ^ * Sin is 
lawlessness' ' (B. V.) . Sin is more than an act, it is an atti- 
tude. Sin is rebellion against God's government, a defiance 
of His authority. Sin is spiritual anarchy. Sin is the 
exercise of self-will, self-assertion, self -independency. Gk>d 
says, ^ ^ Thou shalt, ' ' and I don 't ; what is that but me saying 
**I won't !" God says **Thou shalt not," and I do; what is 
that but me saying, **I will ! " But faith is in every respect 
the antithesis of sin. Faith is also more than an act, it is 
an attitude. Faith is submission to God's government, a 
yielding to His authority, a compliance with His revealed 
will. Faith in God is a coming to the end of myself. Faith 
is the spirit of entire dependency on God. There is a great 
gulf then separating between those who are members of the 
household of faith and those who are the children of the 
wicked one. We walk by faith, they by sight ; we live for 
€k)d's glory, they for self -gratification ; we live for eternity, 
they for time. And every Christian who is walking by 
faith, necessarily condemns the world. His conduct is a 
silent rebuke upon the course followed by the ungodly. His 
life is a witness against their sin. 

Finally, we learn here the reward of Noah's faith — ^he 
** became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." 
Faith brings a present blessing : it wins God 's smile of ap- 
proval, fills the heart with peace, oils the machinery of life, 
and makes ' ' all things ' ' possible. But the grand reward of 
faith is not received in this life. The inheritance into which 
faith conducts us is not possessed here and now. Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob never did anything more than ^^ sojourn 
in the land of promise." The children of God are ''heirs of 
God and joint heirs with Christ," but the entering into 
their inheritance is yet future — ^we do not say the enjoy- 

Noah 87 

tnent of it, for faith appropriates it and revels in it even 
now. The Son Himself has been '^ appointed heir of all 
things" (Heb. 1:2), and it is not until He enters into His 
possessions that we shall share them with Him. Mean- 
while, we are, with Noah, ^^ heirs of the righteousness which 
is by faith.'' 


Genesis 6 

In our article on ''Enoch" it was pointed out that the 
name of his child intimated that God had given warning to 
him of the coming of the Deluge — ' * And Enoch lived sixty 
and five years, and begat Methuselah ' ' ( Gen. 5 : 21 ) . The 
signification of Methuselah is, '' When he is dead it shall he 
sent," i. e., the Deluge (Newberry). A divine revelation 
then was memorialized in this name. The world was to last 
only as long as this son of Enoch lived. If 1 Peter 3 : 20 
be linked to Genesis 5:21 an interesting and precious 
thought is brought before us: ** Which (the antediluvians 
now in 'prison') some time were disobedient, when once 
the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah.'' 
To what does this "long-suffering" refer which "waited" 
while the ark was a preparing T How long had God's pa- 
tience been exercised f Nine hundred and sixty-nine years 
seems to be the answer — the span of Methuselah's life. As 
long as Enoch 's son lived the world was safe ; but when he 
died, then should it (the Deluge) be sent. Is it not a most 
impressive demonstration of God's "long-suffering" that 
the man whose life was to measure the breath of a world's 
probation, was permitted to live longer than any one else 
ever did live I Nine hundred and sixty-nine years — ^what 
an exhibition of God's mercy! How wondrous are the 
ways of Jehovah ! As that child was to live until the time 
came for mankind to be swept away by the flood ; and, as 
during this interval God 's servants were to warn men from 
the coming wrath, shall not the mercy of Gk)d prolong that 
dayT Shall not this man live longer than any other man 
ever did live? Shall not his age be unique, standing out 
from the ages of all others t — ^because that from the hour of 
his birth the Divine decree had gone forth, "When the 
breath leaves his body the throes of dissolution shall com- 
mence ; when he departs the thunder clouds of God 's anger 
shall burst, the windows of heaven shall be opened, the 
foundations of the great deeps shall give way, and every 
living thing shall be swept from this earth by the besom of 
Divine destruction." And so it was. Methuselah out- 


The Flood 89 

lived all his contemporaries and remained on earth almost 
a thousand years. 

Having viewed the postponement of the flood through the 
long-suffering of God, let us next consider the provocation 
of it. We have already dwelt upon the fact that the New 
Testament Scriptures call our attention to the *4ong- 
suffering of God (which) waited in the days of Noah" 
(1 Pet. 3:20). These words intimate that God's long- 
suffering had already been exercised and that it continued 
to **wait" even in the days of Noah. This causes us to in- 
quire how and when had God's '* long-suffering " been mani- 
fested previously to Noah T 

The word '* long-suffering " implies that God had dealt 
in mercy, that His mercy had been slighted, and that His 
patience (humanly speaking) had been sorely tried. And 
this leads us to ask another question — ^a deeply interesting 
and important one: What Divine light did the antedi- 
luvians enjoy T What knowledge of God, of His character 
and of His ways, did they possess T What was the measure 
of their responsibility T To answer these questions is to 
discover the enormity of their sin, is to measure the extent 
of their wickedness, is to determine the degree of their 
aggravation of God ; and, consequently, is to demonstrate 
the magnitude of His long-suffering in bearing with them 
for so long. 

While the record is exceedingly brief, suflScient is re- 
vealed to show that men in general possessed no small 
amount of light even in days before the flood. Not only 
had they, in common with all generations the *' light of 
Nature," or as Romans 1:19, 20 expresses it, ** Because 
that which may be known of God is manifest in them ; for 
€kKl hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of 
Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being 
understood by the things that are made, even His eternal 
power and Godhead" — ^which rendered them '* without ex- 
cuse'^; not only had they the testimony of conscience 
(Bom. 2: 14, 15), but, in addition, they possessed the light 
of Divine revelation. In what this latter consisted we shall 
now endeavor to show. 

First, man had the Promise of a Redeemer. Before our 
first parents were banished from Eden, God declared that 
the woman 's Seed should bruise the serpent 's head, and for 
His appearing believers looked and longed (see Gen. 51: 

90 Gleanings in Genesis 

18). Second: There was the institution of expiatory sac- 
rifices as the one means of approach to Jehovah. This was 
made known by God to Adam and Eve by means of the 
coats of skins which He provided as a covering for their 
nakedness. The meaning of His gracious condescension 
was clearly understood by them, and the significance of it 
and need of such sacrifice was communicated to their chil- 
dren, as is clear from the acts of Cain and Abel. That 
such knowledge was handed down from father to son is also 
seen in the fact that as soon as Noah came out of the ark 
he ' ' built an altar unto the Lord . . . and offered burnt of- 
ferings on the altar'' (Gen. 8 : 20). 

Third: There was the *'mark" which God set upon 
Cain (Gen. 4 : 15) , which was a reminder of his disapproba- 
tion, a visible memorial of his own sin, and a solemn warn- 
ing unto those among whom his lot was subsequently cast. 
Fourth : As we indicated in our comments on Genesis 4, 
the institution of the Sabbath was even then established, as 
may be seen from the fact that there was a set time for 
worship (Gen. 4 : 3, margin) . Fifth : The longevity of the 
patriarchs must be borne in mind. But two lives spanned 
the interval from the beginning of human history to the 
Deluge itself,, namely Adam 's and Methuselah 's. For nine 
hundred and thirty years the first man lived to tell of his 
original creation and condition, of his wicked disobedience 
against God, and of the fearful consequences which fol- 
lowed his sin. A striking illustration of the communica- 
tion of this knowledge from one generation to another may 
be seen in the words of Lamech, who lived to within a few 
years of the flood itself — ^words recorded in Genesis 5 : 29, 
where it will be found he makes reference to **the ground 
which the Lord Qod hath cursed/^ Sixth: There was the 
preaching of Enoch through whom God warned the world 
of its approaching doom (Jude 14, 15). Seventh: The 
mysterious and supernatural translation of Enoch, which 
must have made a profound impression upon those among 
whom his lot was cast. Eighth: The preaching of Noah 
(2 Pet. 2:25), followed by his building of the ark, by 
which he condemned the world. Ninth: The ministry of 
the Holy Spirit (Gen. 6:3; 1 Pet. 3:19), striving with 
men and, as the record implies, this for some considerable 
time. From these things then it is abundantly clear that 
the antediluvians fell not through ignorance but by wil- 

The Flood 91 

fully rejecting a Divine revelation, and from deliberately 
persisting in their wickedness. 

Having considered the Provocation of the Flood, let ns 
now examine the cause of it. Stated in a sentence, this was 
the awful depravity and wickedness of mankind, or to 
quote the language of our chapter, * * And God looked upon 
the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had 
corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto 
Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me ; for the earth 
is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will 
destroy them with the earth" (Gen. 6: 12, 13). 

God's saints are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5: 13), and 
little as the world realizes or appreciates it, the fact re- 
mains that it is the presence of God's people here which 
prevents the mystery of iniquity coming to a head and pre- 
serves mankind from an outpouring of God's wrath. Ten 
righteous men in Sodom would have stayed the Divine judg- 
ment, but only one could be found. 

The salt character of God's people is due to the Holy 
Spirit dwelling within and working through them. Let 
His gracious manifestations be resisted and despised and 
they will be withdrawn, then the measure of man 's iniquity 
will be quickly filled up. These two preserving and re- 
straining factors are brought together in 2 Thessalonians 2. 
Before our Lord shall return to the earth itself, accom- 
panied by the saints (previously translated), there shall 
come one who is denominated, '^the man of sin, the son of 
perdition." This superman shall oppose God and blas- 
phemously exalt himself above all that has any reference to 
God, so that he shall sit in God's temple (at Jerusalem) 
claiming to be God, and demanding Divine homage. His 
coming will be * ' after the working of Satan, with all power 
and signs and lying wonders, and with all receivableness of 
unrighteousness. ' ' But though this * * mystery of iniquity ' ' 
was at work, even in the days of the apostles, two things 
have prevented it coming to full fruition. The Man of Sin 
cannot be ** revealed" till ''his time" because of ^^what 
withholdeth" and *^he who now letteth (hindereth) until 
he be taken out of the way" (2 Thess. 6:7). Undoubtedly 
the neuter pronoun here has reference to the Church of 
God, and the masculine one to the Holy Spirit Himself. 
While they are upon earth Satan's work is held in check; 
but let them — the Holy Spirit and the Church — ^be removed. 

92 Gleanings in Genesis 

let the salt be taken away and the One who gives it pun* 
gency, and the restraining and preserving influences are 
gone, and then nothing remains to stay corruption or hinder 
the outworking of Satan 's plans. 

From the above premises, established by the analogies 
furnished in Scripture, we have no diflSculty in discovering 
the immediate cause of the Flood. A' Divine revelation had 
been despised and rejected. Repeated warnings had been 
flouted. Atonement for sin by an expiatory sacrifice had 
been spurned. Men loved darkness rather than light, be* 
cause their deeds were evil. The number of God's saints 
had been diminished to such an extent that there was but 
one family left who feared the Lord and walked by faith. 
There was not sufficient *'salt" left to preserve the carcassw 
Ood had forewarned the race that His Spirit would not 
always strive with man, and now His long-suffering was 
ended; therefore. His Spirit would be withdrawn, and 
naught then remained but summary judgment. Though 
the faithful remnant should be sheltered, yet, the storm of 
Divine wrath must now burst upon a world filled with 

We turn now to consider the occasion of the Flood. * * And 
it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face 
of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the 
sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair ; 
and they took them wives of all which they chose" (Gen. 
6 : 1, 2). There has been considerable difference of opinion 
among commentators and expositors in respect to the iden- 
tity of these ''sons of God.'* The view which has been 
most widely promulgated and accepted is, that these mar- 
riages between the sons of God and the daughters of men 
refer to unions between believers and unbelievers. It is 
supposed that the ''sons of God'* were the descendants of 
Seth, while the "daughters of men'' are regarded as the 
offspring of Cain, and that these two lines gradually amal- 
gamated, until the line of distinction between God 's people 
and the world was obliterated. It is further supposed that 
the Deluge was a visitation of God's judgment, resulting 
from His peoples ' failure to maintain their place of separa- 
tion. But, it seems to us, there are a number of insuper- 
able objections to this interpretation. 

If the above theory were true, then, it would follow that 
at the time this amalgamation took place God's people were 

The Flood 93 

limited to the male sex, for the ''sons of God" were the 
ones who ''married'* the ''dawflrWers of men/' Again; if 
the popular theory were true, if these ' ' sons of God ' ' were 
believers, then they perished at the Flood, but 2 Peter 2 : 5 
states otherwise — * ' Bringing in the flood upon the world of 
the ungodly.'' Once more; there is no hint in the Divine 
record (so far as we can discover) that God had yet given 
any specific command forbidding His people to marry un- 
believers. In view of this silence it seems exceedingly 
strange that this sin should have been visited with such a 
fearful judgment. In aU ages there have been many of 
God's people who have united with worldlings, who have 
been "unequally yoked together,*' yet no calamity in any- 
wise comparable with the Deluge has followed. Finally; 
pne wonders why the union of believers with unbelievers 
should result in ' ' giants ' ' — ' ' there were giants in the earth 
in those days" (Gen. 6:4). 

If, then, the words "sons of God" do not signify the 
saints of that age, to whom do they refer T In Job 1 : 6, 
2:1, 38:7, the same expression is found, and in these 
passages the reference is clearly to angels. It is a signifi- 
cant fact that some versions of the Septuagint contain the 
word "angels" in Genesis 6 : 2, 4 . That the "sons of God,'' 
who are here represented as cohabiting with the daughters 
of men were angels — ^fallen angels — seems to be taught in 
Jude 6 : "And the angels which kept not their principality 
but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlast- 
ing chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great 

These "sons of God," then, appear to be angels who left 
their own habitation, came down to earth, and cohabited 
with the daughters of men. Before we consider the out- 
come of this illicit intercourse, let us first enquire into the 
cause of it. Why did these angels thus "sin" (2 Pet. 2 : 4) T 
The answer to this question leads us into a mysterious sub- 
ject which we cannot now treat at length: the "why ' 
finds its answer in Satan. 

Immediately after that old serpent, the Devil, had 
brought about the downfall of our first parents, God passed 
sentence on the "serpent" and declared that the woman's 
"Seed" should "bruise his head" (Gen. 3:15). Hence, 
in due course, Satan sought to frustrate this purpose of 
God. His first effort was an endeavor to prevent his 

94 Gleanings in Genesis 

Bruiser entering this world. This effort is plainly to be 
seen in his attempts to destroy the channel through which 
the Lord Jesus was to come. 

First, God revealed the fact that the Coming One was 
to be of human kind, the woman's Seed, hence, as we shall 
seek to show, Satan attempted to destroy the human race. 
Next, God made known to Abraham that the Coming One 
was to be a descendant of his ( Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3 : 18 ; Matt. 
1:1); hence, four hundred years later, when the descend- 
ants of Abraham became numerous in Egypt Satan sought 
to destroy the Abrahamic stock, by moving Pharaoh to seek 
the destruction of all the male children (Ex. 1:15, 16). 
Later, God made known the fact that the Coming One was 
to be of the offspring of David (2 Sam. 7 : 12, 13) ; hence, 
the subsequent attack made upon David through Absalom 
(2 Sam. 15). As, then, the Coming One was to be of the 
seed of David, He must spring from the tribe of Judah, 
and hence the significance of the divided Elingdom, and the 
attacks of the Ten Tribes upon the Tribe of Judah 1 

The reference in Jude 6 to the angels leaving their own 
habitation, appears to point to and correspond with these 
''sons of God" (angels) coming in unto the daughters of 
men. Apparently, by this means, Satan hoped to destroy 
the human race (the channel through which the woman's 
Seed was to come) hy producing a race of m/mstrosities. 
How nearly he succeeded is evident from the fact, that with 
the exception of one family, ''all flesh had corrupted his 
way upon the earth" (Gen. 6:12). That monstrosities 
were produced as the result of this unnatural union between 
the "sons of God" (angels) and the daughters of men, is 
evident from the words of Genesis 6:4: "There were 
giants in the earth in those days. ' ' The Hebrew word for 
"giants" here is nephilim, which means fallen ones, from 
"naphal" to fall. The term "men of renoun" in Gen- 
esis 6:4 probably finds its historical equivalent in the 
"heroes" of Grecian mythology. Satan's special object in 
seeking to prevent the advent of the woman's "Seed" by 
destrojdng the human race was evidently an attempt to 
avert his threatened doom I 

Against the view that "the sons of Gtod" refer to fallen 
angels Matt. 22 : 30 is often cited. But when the contents 
of this verse are closely studied it will be found there is, 
really, nothing in it which conflicts with what we have said 

The Flood 95 

above. Had oxur Lord said, ^'in the resurrection they nei- 
ther marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels 
of GUmI" and stopped there, the objection would have real 
force. But the Lord did not stop there. He added a qmdu 
fying clause about the angels: He said /'as the angels of 
God in heaven/' The last two words make all the differ- 
ence. The angels in heaven neither marry nor are they 
given in marriage. But the angels referred to in Gtenesis 
6 as the ^'sons of God'' were no longer in heaven: as Jude 
6 expressly informs us ''they left their own principality.'' 
They fell from their celestial position and came down to 
earth, entering into unlawful alliance with the daughters of 
men. This, we are assured, is the reason why Christ modi- 
fied and qualified His assertion in Matt. 22 : 30. The angels 
of Qod in heaven do not marry, but those who left their own 
principality did. 

Ere we close, there is one other passage of Scripture 
which ought to be considered in this connection, namely, 
Matt. 24 : 37 — ^ ' But as the days of Noah were, so shall also 
the coming of the Son of Man be. ' ' History is to repeat it- 
self. Ere the Lord returns to this earth, the condition 
which prevailed in the world before the Flood are to be 
reproduced. The characteristic of the days of Noah may 
be summarized in the following ten items : 

1. Multiplication of mankind (Gen. 6 : 1) — ^note the great 
increase of earth 's population during the past century. 2. 
God dealing in long-suffering with a wicked world. 3. Qod 
sending His messengers to warn sinners of coming judg- 
ment. 4. God 's Spirit striving with men, and the threat that 
He would not always do so— cf 2 Thessalonians 2, which 
tells of His Spirit being taken away once more. 5. Gk>d's 
overtures toward men despised and rejected — such is the 
condition of the world today. 6. A small remnant who find 
grace in the sight of the Lord and walk with Him. 7. Enoch 
miraculously translated — ^typifying the removal of the 
saints from the earth caught up to meet the Lord in the air. 
8. Descent to the earth of the fallen angels and their union 
with the daughters of men : how near we have already ap- 
proached to a repetition of this may be discovered in the 
demoniacal activities among Spiritists, Theosophists and 
Christian Scientists. 9. God's judgments poured forth on 
the ungodly — cf Revelation 6 to 19. 10. Noah and his fam- 
ily miraculously preserved — type of the Jewish remnant 
preserved through the Tribulation, see Revelation 12. 


Genesis 7 

No study of the person and character of Noah would be 
complete without viewing him as a type of the Lord Jesus. 
With one or two notable exceptions it will be beside our 
purpose to do more than call attention to some of the most 
striking points of correspondency between the type and 
the antitype, leaving our readers to develop at greater 
length these seed thoughts. 

1. To begin at the beginning, Noah's very name fore- 
shadowed the Coming One. In Genesis 5 : 28, 29 we read, 
^^And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and 
begat a son ; and he called his name Noah. ' ' Noah means 
**restJ^ His father regarded him as the one who should 
be the rest-giver, and as one who should provide comfort 
from the toil incurred by the Curse. ' ' He called his name 
Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our 
work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which 
the Lord hath cursed." Lamech looked upon his son as 
one who should bring deliverance from the Curse, as one 
who should provide comfort and rest from the weariness of 
toil. Our readers will readily see how this ancient prophecy 
(for prophecy it undoubtedly was) receives its fulfilment 
in the One of whom it was also written, ' ' And His rest shall 
be glorious" (Isaiah 11: 10), and who when on earth said, 
* ' Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and 
I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). But further than 
this, Noah's name, and the prophecy of his father on the 
occasion of the bestowment of it upon his son, also looks for- 
ward to the time of our Lord's Second Advent when He 
shall deliver the earth from its Curse — See Isaiah 9 : 35, etc. 

2. The first thing which is told us in connection with 
Noah is that he *' found grace in the eyes of the Lord" 
(Gen. 6:8). In a previous article we have commented 
upon the setting of these words and have pointed out the 
contrast which they are designed to emphasize. **A11 flesh 
had corrupted his way upon the earth. ' ' The ruinous and 
ravaging effects of sin were universal. But as God looked 
down upon the creatures of His hand, now fallen and de- 
praved, there was one who stood out by himself, one who 


Noah a Type of Christ 97 

was just and perfect in his generation, one upon whom 
God 's eye delighted to rest. It is very significant that noth- 
ing at all is said about Noah's family — ^his ''sons and their 
^iyes" — ^in this connection; Noah only is mentioned, as 
if to show he is the one on whom our attention should be 
fixed. When we note what a striking type of our Lord 
Jesus Noah is, the reason for this is obvious; He is the 
one in whom the heart of the Father delighted, and just as 
the first thing told us in connection with Noah is that he 
** found grace in the eyes of the Lord," so the first words 
of the Father after the Lord Jesus had commenced His 
public ministry were, ' ' This is My beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased^' (Matt. 3: 17). 

3. The next thing told us about Noah is that he ^'was a 
just man" (Gen. 6:9). As is well known, the word just 
means ** righteous. " Like all other sinners who find ac- 
ceptance with God, Noah was ** justified by faith." He 
possessed no inherent righteousness of his own. Righteous- 
ness is imputed, imputed to those that believe (Rom. 4: 6, 
22-25). There was only one man who has ever walked our 
earth who was inherently and intrinsically righteous and 
that was He whom Noah foreshadowed, He of whom the cen- 
turion testified, ** Certainly this was a righteous man'' 
(Luke 23:47). 

4. Next we read that Noah was ** perfect in his genera- 
tions" (Gen. 6:9). In a previous article we have seen 
that this expression has reference to the body and not to 
perfection of character. Noah and his family had not been 
defiled by contact with the Nephilim. * * Perfect in his gen- 
erations" signifies that Noah was uncontaminated phys- 
ically. "Perfect in his generations" is predicated of Noah 
alone ; of none other is this said. How plain and perfect 
the type! Does it not point to the immaculate humanity 
of our Lordt When the Eternal Word was **made fiesh" 
He did not contract the corruptions of our fallen nature. 
Unlike all of human kind. He was not **shapen in iniquity 
and conceived in sin." On the contrary His mother was 
told, ''That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall 
be called the Son of God" (Luke 1 : 35). In His humanity 
our Lord was ''separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26). He 
was uncontaminated by the virus of sin; He was "perfect 
in His generation. ' ' 

98 Gleanings in Genesis 

5. Next we read of Noah that he ** walked with God'' 
(OeiL 6:9). In this also he was a type of Him who for 
thirty-three years lived here in unbroken communion with 
the Father. All through those years, however varied His 
circumstances, we find Him enjoying holy and blessed fel- 
lowship with the Father. During His early life, in the se- 
clusion of Nazareth we learn that '^ Jesus increased in wis- 
dom and stature, and in favor with Ood and man" (Luke 
2: 52). During the long season of fasting and temptation 
in the wilderness, we find Him Uving by '* every word of 
Ood'^ (Luke 4:4). While His disciples slept, our blessed 
Lord retired to the solitudes of the mountain, there to pour 
out His soul to God and enjoy fellowship with His Father 
(Luke 6: 12). At the close of His sufferings on the Cross 
we hear Him cry, * ' Father, into Thy hands I commend My 
spirit'' (Luke 23:46). Truly His walk was ever **with 

6. Ood Gave Noah an Honorous Work to Do 

'^Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt 
thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without 
with pitch. With thee will I establish My covenant ; and 
thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy 
wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living 
thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring in the 
ark, to keep them alive with thee" (Gen. 6:14, 18, 19). 
Here we find a work is entrusted to Noah by God, a highly 
important work, a momentous and stupendous work. Never 
before or since has such a task been allotted to a single man. 
The task of preserving from Ood's judgment representa- 
tives of all creation was committed to Noah ! The type is 
so clear and plain that comment is almost needless. To 
the Lord Jesus Christ, God's beloved Son, was entrusted 
the task of effecting the salvation of lost and ruined sinners. 
It is to this He refers when He says, ' ' I have finished the 
work which Thou gavest Me to do'' (John 17:4) — ^speak- 
ing here as though in Glory, where He now is as our great 
High Priest. 

7. Noah, Alone, Did the Work 

We shall consider separately the typical significance 
of the ark ; for the moment we would direct attention upon 
Noah and his work. Is it not striking that there is no ref- 
erence here to any help that Noah received in the executing 

Noah a Type of Christ 99 

of his Gkxl-giyeii task T There is no hint whatever that any 
assisted him in the work of building the ark. The record 
reads as though Noah alone provided the necessary means 
for securing the lives of those that Gtod had entrusted to 
his care I Surely the reason is obvious. The truth which is 
foreshadowed here is parallel with the typology of Leviticus 
16 : 17 — '' ' And there shall he no man in the tabernacle of 
the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in 
the holy place, until he come out" — ^when atonement was 
being made the High Priest must be alone. So it was in the 
antitype. The work of redemption was accomplished by 
our Lord Jesus Christ, '^Who His own self bare our sins 
in His own body on the tree" (1 Pet. 2 : 24) , and He needed 
no assistance in this work, for God had ^'laid help upon 
One that is mighty'' (Ps. 89 : 19, R. V.). In full harmony 
then with the Leviticus 16 type, and in perfect accord with 
its fulfilment in our gracious Saviour, we find that the rec- 
ord in Genesis reads as though Noah was alone in his task 
and received no assistance in the work of providing a refuge 
from the coming storm of Divine wrath. 

8. Moreover*, is not the perfection of the type further to 
be seen in the fact that the inspired record passes over the 
interval of time necessary for Noah to have performed his 
taskt This is very striking, for many months, and prob- 
ably years, would be required to build an ark of the dimen- 
sions given us in Genesis. But not a word is said about 
this. After God gave instructions to Noah to build the ark, 
the next thing we read is, ^ ' Thus did Noah according to all 
that God commanded him, so did he. And the Lord said 
unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark" 
(Gen. 6 : 22 ; 7 : 1) — as though to show that when he began, 
his work was speedily accomplished 1 How much we may 
learn from the silences of Scripture ! Again we call atten- 
tion to the parallel type in Leviticus 16— **For on that day 
shall the priest make an atonement for you to cleanse you, 
that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord ' ' 
(v. 30). In Leviticus 23 the Day of Atonement is classed 
among Israel 's great feasts, and by noting this the point we 
are now making comes out more clearly by way of contrast. 
Others of these feasts, e. g.. Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles, 
etc., extended over a period of several days, but Atonement 
was accomplished in one day. Nothing was left over to be 
completed on the next day ; which reminds us of the blessed 

100 Gleanings in Genesis 

words of our triumphant Saviour — ' * It is finished. ' * There 
is nothing now for us to do but rest on His Finished Work. 
In one day, yes, in three hours, on the Cross, our Lord put 
away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. As we have said, this 
was anticipated in the typical significance of Noah's work 
by the silence of Scripture upon the length of time he was 
engaged in the performance of his task, the record reading 
as though it was speedily executed. 

9. The successful issue of Noah's work, seen in *'the sav- 
ing of his house'* (Heb. 11 : 7) reminds us of the language 
of Hebrews 3 : 6, **But Christ as a son over his own house" 
(Heb. 3:6). But the type goes further: Noah's work 
brings blessing to all creation as is seen from the fact that 
the animals and birds were also preserved in the ark. Ob- 
serve how beautifully this is brought out in Genesis 8 : 1 — 
**And God remembered Noah, and every living things and 
all the cattle that was with him in the ark." So, too, the 
work of Christ shall yet bring blessing to the beasts of the 
field. At His return to the earth * * the creation itself also 
shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the 
glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8: 21). 

10. In Genesis 6 : 19 we have a hint of the animal crea- 
tion being subject to Noah — ''And of every living thing of 
all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, 
to keep them alive with thee.*' We have a passing glimpse 
of the yet future fulfilment of this part of the type in 
Mark 1:13 — ^''And He was there in the wilderness forty 
days tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts." 
Noah's headship over all creatures comes out even more 
clearly in Genesis 9 : 2 — * * And the fear of you and the dread 
of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon 
every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon earth, and 
upon all the fishes of the sea ; into your hand are they deliv- 
ered.'* How this reminds us of Psalm 8, which speaks of 
the future dominion of the Son of Man. '*For Thou hast 
made Him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned 
Him with glory and honor. For thou madest Him to have 
dominion over the works of Thy hands ; Thou hast put all 
things under His feet (compare Heb. 2:8), ''But now we 
see not yet all things put under Him, all sheep and oxen, 
yea, and the beasts of the field ; the fowl of the air and the 
fish of the sea ! ' ' This same thought is repeated in the Gen- 
esis narrative again and again as if with deliberate empha- 

Noah a Type of Christ 101 

sis. When we read of the animals entering the Ark we are 
told ''They went in unto Noah (not unto Noah and his fam- 
ily) into the Ark," and then we are told "And the Lord 
shut him (not 'them') in" (Gen. 7:15, 16). And again, 
on leaving the ark we read that God said unto Noah, ' ' Every 
moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you ; even as the 
green herb have I given you all things^' (Gen. 9:3). So 
Christ is "the Heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2). 

11. In Genesis 6 : 21 we find Noah presented as the great 
food-provider : * * And take thou unto thee of all food that 
is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be 
for food for thee, and for them." We need hardly say 
that this finds its complement in Christ the Bread of Life. 
He is God's Manna for our souls. He is the Shewbread 
which was eaten by Aaron and his sons (Lev. 24 : 9) . He is 
the Old Corn of the land (Joshua 5: 11). In short, it is 
only as we feed upon Christ as He is presented unto us in 
the written Word that our spiritual life is quickened and 

12. In Genesis 6 : 22 we learn of Noah 's implicit and com- 
plete obedience — ^ ' Thus did Noah according to all that God 
commanded him, so did he." And again, "And Noah did 
according unto all that the Lord commanded him" (Gen. 
7:5). So, too, we read of the perfect obedience of Him 
whom Noah foreshadowed: "If ye keep My command- 
ments, ye shall abide in My love ; even so I have kept My 
Father's commandments, and abide in His love" (John 15: 
10). Only, be it noted, the obedience of our blessed Lord 
went farther than that of Noah, for He "became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8) — ^in all 
things He has the preeminence. 

13. "And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, 
and his sons ' wives with him ; every beast, every creeping 
thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the 
earth, after their kinds went forth out of the ark" (Gen. 
8 : 18, 19). In these verses we see Noah bringing all whom 
€k>d had committed to his care on to the new earth, which 
reminds us of our Lord's words, "Of them which Thou 
gavest Me have I lost none'' (John 18: 19). However, the 
fact that the animal creation is here specifically mentioned 
as sharing in this blessing seems to point to a milennial 
scene when all creation shall enjoy the benefit of Christ's 
reign (cf. Isaiah 11). 

102 Gleanings in Genesis 

14. ''And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and 
took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and of • 
fered burnt offerings on the altar (Gen. 8:20). Here we 
see Noah offering a burnt offering unto the Lord : the anti- 
typical parallel is found in Ephesians 5 : 2 — ^ ' Christ also 
hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering 
and a sacrifice to Ood for a sweet smelling savor. ' ' 

15. ''And God blessed Noah and his sons'^ (Gen. 9:1). 
It is beautiful to see Noah and his sons here linked together 
in the enjoyment of God 's blessing, as though to foreshadow 
the blessed fact that every mercy we now enjoy is ours for 
Christ's sake." "Blessed be the Qod and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual 
blessings in heavenly places in Chris f (Eph. 1:3). 

16. With Noah and his sons Qod established His Cov- 
enant, "And Qod spake unto Noah, and to his sons with 
him, saying, And I, behold, I establish My covenant with 
you, and with your seed after you'* (Gen. 9:8, 9). The 
word "covenant" occurs just seven times in this passage, 
namely, in verses 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17. Note, the cove- 
nant that God made with Noah was "an everlasting cove- 
nant" (Gen. 9:16), and so we read concerning the anti- 
type — ^"Now the Qod of peace, that brought again from the 
dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 


Genesis 7 

The ark which was built by Noah according to divine di- 
rections, in which he and his house, together with represen- 
tatives from the lower creation, found shelter from the 
storm of GUmI's wrath, is one of the clearest and most com- 
prehensive types of the believer 's salvation in Christ which 
is to be found in all the Scriptures. So important do we 
deem it, we have decided to devote a separate article to its 
prayerful and careful consideration. 

1. The first thing to be noted in connection with the ark 
18 that it was a Divine provision. This is very clear from 
the words of Genesis 6 : 13, 14 — ^ ^ And God said unto Noah, 
the end of all flesh is come before Me.. ..make thee an 
ark. ' ' Before the flood came and before the ark was made, 
a means of escape for His own people existed in the mind 
of God. The ark was not provided by Him after the waters 
had begun to descend. Noah was commanded to construct 
it before a drop had fallen. So, too, the Saviourship of 
Christ was no afterthought of God when sin had come in 
and blighted His creation ; from all eternity He had pur- 
posed to redeem a people unto Himself, and in consequence, 
Christ, in the counsels of the Godhead, was '^a lamb slain 
from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13: 8). The ark 
was God's provision for Noah as Christ is God's provision 
for sinners. 

2. Observe now that God revealed to Noah His own de- 
signs and ordered him to build a place of refuge into which 
he could flee from the impending storm of judgment. The 
ark was no invention of Noah 's ; had not Gk)d revealed His 
thoughts to him, he would have perished along with his 
fellow creatures. In like manner, God has to reveal by 
His Spirit His thoughts of mercy and grace toward us; 
otherwise, in our blindness and ignorance we should be 
eternally lost. '^For Gk)d, who commanded the light to 
shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the 
light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ'' (2 Cor. 4: 6). 

3. In the next place, we note that Noah was commanded 
to make an ark of gopher-wood (Gen. 6 : 14). The material 


104 Gleanings in Genesis 

out of which the ark was built teaches an important lesson. 
The ark was made, not of steel like our modern ^'dread- 
noughts," but out of wood. The typical truth which this 
fact is designed to teach us lies not on the surface, yet is 
one that is brought before us again and again both in the 
Word and in Nature; the truth, that life comes out of 
death, that life can be secured only by sacrifice. Before the 
ark could be made, trees must be cut down. That which 
secured the life of Noah and his house was obtained by the 
death of the trees. We have a hint here, too, of our Lord 's 
humanity. The trees from which the wood of the ark was 
taken were a thing of the earth, reminding us of Isaiah's 
description of Christ — ^''a root out of a dry ground" (Isa^ 
53:2). So Christ, who was the eternal Son of God must 
become the Son of man — part of that which, originally, was 
made out of the dust of the earth — and as such be cut down, 
or, in the language of prophecy, be *'cut oflf " (Dan. 9 : 26), 
before a refuge could be provided for us. 

4. The ark was a refuge from Divine judgment. There 
are three arks mentioned in Scripture and each of them 
was a shelter and place of safety. The ark of Noah se- 
cured those within it from the outpoured wrath of Qod. 
The ark of bulrushes (Ex. 2:3) protected the young child 
Moses from the murderous designs of Pharaoh, who was a 
type of Satan. The ark of the covenant sheltered the two 
tables of stone on which were inscribed the holy law of 
God. Each ark speaks of Christ, and putting the three to- 
gether, we learn that the believer is sheltered from God's 
wrath, Satan's assaults and the condemnation of the law — 
the only three things in all the universe which can threaten 
or harm us. The ark of Noah was a place of safety. It was 
provided by God when death threatened all. It was the 
only place of deliverance from the wrath to come, and as 
such it speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour 
of lost sinners — ** Neither is there salvation in any other; 
for there is none other name under heaven given among 
men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4: 12). 

5. Into this ark man was invited to come. He was invited 
by God Himself, * * And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou 
and all thy house into the ark" (Gen. 7:1), This is the 
first time the word ' * come ' ' is found in the Scriptures, and 
it recurs over five hundred times in the remainder of the 

The Typology of the Ark 105 

Bible. Is it not highly significant that we meet with it 
here as its first occurrence! A number of thoughts are 
suggested by this connection, for several of which we are 
indebted to Dr. Thomas ' work on Genesis. Observe that the 
Lord does not say ''Oo into the ark, " but * ' Come. " ' * Go ' ' 
would have been a command, * * Come ' ' was a gracious invi- 
tation ; ' * Go " would have implied that the Lord was bidding 
Noah depart from Him, **Come" intimated that in the ark 
the Lord would be present with him. Is it not the same 
thought as we have in the Gospel — ^''Come unto Me and I 
will give you rest!" Observe further that the invitation 
was a personal one — '*Come thou'^; God always addresses 
Himself to the heart and conscience of the individual. 
Yet, the invitation went further — ^'^Come thou and all thy 
house into the ark," and again we find a parallel in the 
Gospel of grace in our day : ' ' Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house* ^ (Acts 

6. The ark was a place of absolute security. This truth 
is seen from several particulars. First, the ark itself was 
pitched ** within and without with pitch" (Gen. 6:14), 
hence it would be thoroughly watertight, and as such, a 
perfect shelter. No matter how hard it rained or how high 
the waters rose, all inside the ark were secure. The ark was 
in this respect also, a type of our salvation in Christ. 
Speaking to the saints, the apostle said, **Your life is hid 
(like Noah in the ark) with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). In 
the next place, we read concerning Noah after he had en- 
tered the ark, ''And the Lord shut him in** (Gen. 7: 16). 
What a blessed word is this! Noah did not have to take 
care of himself ; having entered the ark, God was then re- 
sponsible for his preservation. So it is with those who have 
fled to Christ for refuge, they are '^kept by the power of 
Ood through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in 
the last time" (1 Pet. 1:5). Finally, the security of all 
in the ark is seen in the issuing of them forth one year later 
on to the destruction-swept earth — ^^'And Noah went forth, 
and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him: 
every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and what- 
soever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth 
out of the ark" (Gen. 8 : 18, 19) . All who had entered that 
ark had been preserved, none had perished by the flood, 
and none had died a natural death, so perfect is the type. 

106 Gleanings in Genesis 

How this reminds us of our Lord's words, ^'Of them which 
thou gavest Me have I lost none'* (John 18: 9). 

7. Next we would note what has often been pointed out 
by others, that the ark had only one door to it. There was 
not one entrance for Noah and his family, another for the 
animals, and yet another for the birds. One door was all 
it had. The same was true later of the tabernacle ; it, too, 
had but a single entrance. The spiritual application is 
apparent. There is only one way of escape from eternal 
death. There is only one way of deliverance from the 
wrath to come. There is only one Saviour from the Lake 
of Fire, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ — ^ * I am the way, 
the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father hut 
by Me'' (John 14 : 6) . The language of our type is directly 
employed by Christ in John 10 : 9, where we hear Him say, 
''I am the door/' It is also worthy of attention to note that 
Noah was ordered by God to set the door **in the side" of 
the ark (Gen. 6: 16). Surely this pointed forward to the 
piercing of our Lord's **side" (John 19 : 34) which was the 
intimation that the way to the heart of Ood is now open to 
guilty and ruined sinners. 

8. The ark had three stories in it, ''with lower, second, 
and third stories shalt thou make it" (Gen. 6: 16). Why 
are we told this? What diflference does it make to God's 
saints living four thousand years afterwards how many 
stories the ark had, whether it had one or a dozen t Every 
devout student of the Word has learned that everything in 
the Holy Scriptures has some significance and spiritual 
value. Necessarily so, for every word of God is pure. 
When the Holy Spirit "moved" Moses to write the book of 
Genesis, He knew that a book was being written which 
should be read by the Lord's people thousands of years 
later, therefore, what He caused to be written must have in 
every instance, something more than a merely local appli- 
cation. ^^ Whatsoever was written aforetime was written 
for our learning." What then are we to ''learn" from the 
fact that in the ark there were three stories, no less and no 

We have already seen that the ark itself unmistakably 
foreshadowed the Lord Jesus. Passing through the waters 
of judgment, being itself submerged by them ; grounding 
on the seventeenth day of the month — as we shall see, the 
day of our Lord 's Resurrection ; and affording a shelter to 

The Typology of the Ark 107 

all who were within it, the ark was a very clear type of 
Christ. Therefore the inside of the ark must speak to us 
of what we have in Christ. Is it not dear then that the ark 
divided into three stories more than hints at our threefold 
salvation in Christ? The salvation which we have in Christ 
is a threefold one, and that in a double sense. It is a salva- 
tion which embraces each part of our threefold constitution, 
making provision for the redemption of our spirit, and soul, 
and body (1 Thess. 5: 23) ; and further, our salvation is a 
three tense salvation — we have been saved from the penalty 
of sin, are being saved from the power of sin, we shall yet be 
saved from the presence of sin. 

9. Next, we observe that the ark was furnished with a 
window and this was placed ''above" — ^''A window shalt 
thou make to the ark and in a cubit shalt thou finish it 
above'* (Gen. 6:16). The spiritual application is patent. 
Noah and his companions were not to be looking down on 
the scene of destruction beneath and around them, but up 
toward the living God. The same lesson was taught to 
Jehovah's people in the Wilderness. The pillar of cloud to 
guide them by day and the pillar of fire to protect them by 
night was provided not only for their guidance, but was 
furnished for their instruction as well. Israel must look 
up to the great Jehovah and not be occupied with the 
difficulties and dangers of the wilderness. So, we, called 
upon to walk by faith, are to journey with our eyes turned 
heavenward. Our affection must be set upon ' ' things above, 
not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). 

10. The ark was furnished with ^^ rooms'' or ^^ nests" — 
''Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms (margin 
"nests") shalt thou make in the ark" (Gen. 6:14). In 
every other passage in the Old Testament where the Hebrew 
word "gen" occurs, it is translated "nest." We hesitate 
to press the spiritual signification here ; yet, we have seen 
that the ark is such a striking and comprehensive type of 
our salvation in Christ we must believe that this detail in 
the picture has some meaning, whether we are able to dis- 
cern it or no. The thought which is suggested to us is, that 
in Christ we have something more than a refuge, we have 
a resting place; we are like birds in their nests, the objects 
of Another's loving care. Oh, is it that the "nests" in the 
ark look forward to the "many mansions" in the Father's 
House f which our Lord has gone to prepare for us. It is 

108 Gleanings in Genesis 

rather curious that there is some uncertainty about the 
precise meaning of the Greek word here translated ^^ man- 
sions. ' ' Weymouth renders it, ^ ' In My Father 's house are 
many resting places 1^^ 

11. In connection with the ark the great truth of Atone- 
ment is typically presented. This comes out in several par- 
ticulars : ' ' Make thee an ark of gopher wood ; rooms shalt 
thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without 
with pitch'* (Gen. 6:14). The Hebrew word here is not 
the common one for ** pitch" which is **2etteth/' but is 
*'kapher/' which is translated seventy times in the Old 
Testament ''to make atonement." The simple meaning of 
**kapher" is ''io caver'' and nowhere else is it rendered 
*' pitch." Atonement was made by the blood which pro- 
vided a covering for sin. Our readers being familiar with 
this thought, there is no need for us to develop it. God is 
holy, and as such He is ''of purer eyes than to behold evil, 
and canst not look on iniquity" (Hab. 1:13), hence sin 
must be covered— covered by blood. It is therefore remark- 
able that this word "kapher" should be employed (for the 
first time in Scripture) in connection with th£ ark, as though 
to teach us that a shelter from God's wrath can be found 
only beneath the atoning blood ! Again we notice that the 
storm fell upon the ark which provided shelter for Noah 
and those that were with him. So, too, the clouds of Divine 
judgment burst upon our adorable Redeemer as He suf- 
fered in our stead: "All Thy waves and thy billows are 
gone over Me" (Ps. 42:7) was His cry; and may not His 
words here be language pointing back to the very type we 
are now considering t 

12. As others have pointed out, the typical teaching of 
the ark reaches beyond the truth of atonement to resurrec- 
tion itself. We quote here from the writings of the late 
Mr. William Lincoln: "There seems no reason to doubt 
that the day the ark rested on the mountain of Ararat is 
identical with the day on which the Lord rose from the 
dead. It rested "on the seventeenth day of the seventh 
month." But by the commandment of the Lord, given at 
the time of the institution of the feast of the Passover, the 
seventh month was changed into the first month. Then 
three days after the Passover, which was on the fourteenth 
day of the month, the Lord, having passed quite through 
the waters of judgment, stood in resurrection in the midst 

The Typology of the Ark 109 

of Hifl disciples, saying, '* Peace be unto you/* They, as 
well as Himself, had reached the haven of everlasting rest. ' ' 
But not only does our type prefigure our Lord's resurrec- 
tion from the dead, it also suggests the truth of His ascen- 
sion, for we read * ' And the ark rested in the seventh month, 
on the seventeenth day of the month upon the mountains of 
Ararat*' (Gen. 8:4). The final resting place of the ark 
was upon the mountain top, speaking of the place ''on 
high ' ' where our Saviour is now seated at the right hand of 

We lay our pen down with a strengthened conviction that 
the Holy Scriptures are no mere ''cunningly devised 
fables, ' ' but that they are indeed the inspired Word of the 
living God. 


Genesis 8 

The covenants referred to therein constitute one of the 
principal keys to the interpretation of the Old Testament, 
denoting, as they do, the dividing lines between the differ- 
ent Dispensations, and indicating the several changes of 
procedure in God's dealings with the earth. At various 
times Ood condescended to enter into a compact with man, 
and failure to observe the terms and scope of these com- 
pacts necessarily leads to the utmost confusion. The Word 
of truth can only be rightly divided as due attention is paid 
to the different covenants recorded therein. The covenants 
varied in their requirements, in their scope, in their prom- 
ises and in the seals or signs connected with them. The in- 
spired history growing out of the covenants furnishes a 
signal demonstration of God's faithfulness and of man's 
faithlessness and failure. 

There are exactly seven covenants made by Ood referred 
to in Scripture, neither more nor less. First, the Adamic 
which concerned man's continued enjoyment of Eden on 
the condition that he refrained from eating the fruit of the 
forbidden tree. But Adam failed to keep his part of the 
agreement, see Hosea 6:7 margin. Second, the Noahic 
which concerned the earth and its seasons, see Genesis 9. 
Third, the Ahrahamic which concerned Israel's occupancy 
of Palestine, see Genesis 15:18, etc. Fourth, the Mosaic 
which concerned Israel's continued enjoyment of Gk)d's 
favors, conditioned by their obedience to His law, see Ex- 
odus 24 : 7, 8 ; 34 : 27. Fifth, the Levitic which concerned 
the priesthood, promising that it should remain in this 
tribe, see Numbers 25:12, 13; Malachi 2:4, 5; Ezekiel 
44:15, which proves God's faithfulness in respect to this 
covenant in the Millennium. Sixth, the Davidic which con- 
cerns the Kingdom and particularly the throne, see 2 Sam- 
uel 23 : 5 ; 2 Chronicles 13 : 5. Seventh, the Messianic or 
New Covenant which concerns the Millennium, see Isaiah 
42 : 6 ; Jeremiah 31 : 31-34. Much might be written con- 
cerning these different covenants, but we limit ourselves to 
the second, the Noahic. We wish to say, however, that a 
careful study of the above references will richly repay 
every diligent and prayerful reader. 


God's Covenant with Noah HI 

1. Coming now to the second of these great covenants let 
OS notice the occasion of it. It was as it were the beginning 
of a new world. There was to be a fresh start. With the 
exception of those who found shelter in the ark^ the flood 
had completely destroyed both the human family and the 
lower orders of creation. On to the destruction-swept earth 
came Noah and his family. Noah's first act was to build, 
not a house for himself, but an altar '^unto the Lord/' on 
which he presented burnt offerings. These were, unto the 
Lord, a ''sweet savor," and after declaring that He would 
not curse the ground any more for man's sake, and after 
promising that while the earth remained its seasons should 
not cease, we are told ''Gk)d blessed Noah and his sons" 
(9:1). This is the first time that we read of God blessing 
any since He had blessed unf alien man in Eden (Oen. 
1:28). The basis of this ''blessing" was the burnt offer- 
ings; the design of it to show that the same Divine favor 
that was extended to Adam and Eve should now rest upon 
the new progenitors of the human race. 

Here then we have the second "beginning" of Genesis, a 
beginning which, in several respects, resembled the first, 
particularly in tibe command to be fruitful and multiply, 
and in the subjection of the irrational creature to man's 
dominion. But there is one difference here which it is im- 
portant to notice : all now rests upon a covenant of grace 
based upon shed blood. Man had forfeited the "blessing" 
of Ood and his position as lord of creation, but grace re- 
stores and reinstates him. God makes a covenant with 
Noah which in its scope included the beasts of the field 
(9:2) who are made to be at peace with him and subject 
to his authority ; and which in its duration would last while 
the earth remained. Let us now note : 

2. The source of this covenant. At least two of the 
seven covenants referred to above (the first and the fourth) 
were mutual agreements between God and man, but in the 
one now before us, Gk)d Himself was the initiator and sole 
compacter. The whole passage emphasizes the fact that it 
was a covenant of Qod with Noah, and not of Noah with 
€k)d. God was the giver, man the receiver. Note — * ' I will 
establish My covenant with you" (v. 11); "This is the 
token of the covenant which / make'* (v. 12) ; "And I 
will remember My covenant (v. 15). That this was Ood's 
covenant with Noah, and that man had no part in the mak- 

112 Gleanings in Genesis 

ing or keeping of it is further seen from the following lan- 
guage : ^ ' I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for 
a token of a covenant between Me and the earth^^ (v. 13), 
and, **I will remember My covenant, which is between Me 
and you and every living creature of all flesh' ^ (v. 15). 

It is further to be noted that God said to Noah **with 
thee will I establish My covenant'' (Gen. 6 : 18). The ben- 
efits of it have been enjoyed by Noah's posterity, yet the 
covenant was not made with them. Favor has been shown 
to his descendants for Noah's sake. Similarly, God made 
a covenant with Abraham in which He promised to bless 
his offspring. Thus, at this early period in human history 
God was revealing the great principle by which redemption 
should afterwards be effected by His Son, namely, that of 
representation, the one acting for the many, the many re- 
ceiving blessing through the one. 

3. The basis of this covenant is seen in the closing verses 
of Genesis 8. The chapter division here is most unfortu- 
nate. Genesis 8 ought to terminate with the nineteenth 
verse, the remaining three forming the proper commence- 
ment of the ninth chapter. ^^And Noah builded an altar 
unto the Lord ; and took of every clean beast, and of every 
clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar" (Gen. 
8 : 20) — ^the next two verses, and the whole of chapter nine 
down to the seventeenth verse, contain Jehovah's response 
to Noah's offering. It is in these verses we learn (Jod's 
answer to the ''sweet savor" that ascended from the altar. 
This covenant, then, was based upon sacrifice, and being 
made by (Jod with Noah, and not by Noah with God, is 
therefore unconditionable and inviolable. How blessed to 
learn from this type that every temporal blessing which the 
earth enjoys as well as every spiritual blessing which is the 
portion of the saints, accrues to us from the Sacrifice of the 
Lord Jesus Christ of whom Noah 's burnt offerings spokQ. 

4. The contents of this covenant call for careful consid- 
eration. A part of these has already engaged our atten- 
tion. ** While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, 
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and 
night, shall not cease" (8:20) ; **And I will establish My 
covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any 
more by the waters of a flood ; neither shall there any more 
be a flood to destroy the earth" (9:11). These promises 
were given more than four thousand years ago, and the 

God's Covenant with Noah US 

unfailing annual fulfilment of them all through the cen- 
turies forms a striking demonstration of the faithfulness 
of God. The terms of this covenant refer us to that which 
is almost universally lost sight of in these days, namely, the 
fact that behind Nature's **laws" is Nature's Lord. Men 
now seek to shut God out of His own creation. We hear so 
much of the science of farming and the laws of diet that our 
daily bread and the health of the body are regarded as 
something that man produces and controls. Our daily 
bread is a gift, for without the recurring seasons and Qod 's 
"renewal of the face of the earth" (Ps. 104: 30) man could 
produce no grain at all, and the recurring of the seasons 
and the renewal of the earth are the fulfilment of the cove- 
nant that God made with Noah. A casual observation of 
Nature's ''laws'' reveals the fact that they are not uniform 
in their operation, hence if a Divine Revelation be elim- 
inated man possesses no guarantee that the seasons may not 
radically change or that the earth shall not be destroyed 
again by a flood. Nature 's * * laws ' ' did not prevent the Del- 
uge in Noah's day, why should they prevent a recurrence 
of it in ours t How blessed for the child of God to turn to 
the inerrant Word and hear his Father say, **And I will 
establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be 
cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall 
there any more be a flood to destroy the earth ! ' ' 

5. The design of the covenant is hinted at in the scrip* 
ture just quoted. The timeliness and blessedness of such a 
revelation are apparent. Such an awful catastrophe as the 
Flood would shake violently the confidence of men in the 
established order of Nature, and distressing apprehensions 
were likely to obsess their minds for generations to come. 
They would be filled with terror as they feared a repetition 
of it. It was therefore a merciful act on the part of God 
to set their minds at rest and assure His creatures that He 
would no more destroy the earth with a flood. It was a 
wondrous display of His grace, for man had fully shown 
that he was utterly unworthy of the least of heaven's 
mercies, yet, despite the fact that ' ' the imagination of man 's 
heart is evil from his youth, ' ' the Lord said in His heart, 
** Neither will I again smite any more every thing living, 
as I have done" (8: 21). It was also an affirmation of His 
Creatorship— the varying seasons, the planets that rule 
them, the influences of. climatic conditions, were all beneath 

114 Gleanings in Genesis 

the control of Him who upholds * ' all things by the word of 
His power" (Heb. 1:3). 

6. The requirements of the covenant are of deep interest. 
Though the word itself does not occur till the eleventh verse 
of the ninth chapter, a careful study of the context makes 
it clear that the covenant itself is expressed in 8 : 22, and 
that from there on the ** covenant" is the one theme of the 
entire passage. Three things are included among the Di- 
vine requirements : first, blood must not be eaten ; second, 
the principle of retributive judgment is clearly enunciated 
for the first time, capital punishment as the penalty of 
murder being now commanded; the human race was to 
multiply and people the earth which had been depopulated 
by the flood. Let us take a brief look at each of these 

''But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood 
thereof, shall ye not eat" (9:4). This is the second passage 
in Scripture in which the word blood occurs. Here, as 
everywhere in the Word, the earliest references forecast in 
outline all that is subsequently said upon the subject. The 
first seven passages in which the word blood is found con- 
tain a complete summary of the teaching of God's Word 
upon this fundamental theme. (1) Genesis 4: 10, 11, gives 
us the first mention of blood, and here we learn that the 
blood cries unto Ood. (2) Genesis 9 : 4-6, here we learn that 
the blood is the life, and that blood must be held sacred. 
(3) Genesis 37: 22, 26, 31, Joseph's coat is dipped in blood 
and is brought to Jacob : here we learn, in type, that the 
blood of the Son is presented to the Father. (4) Genesis 
42 : 22, here we learn that blood is required at the hand of 
those who shed it. (5) Genesis 49: 11, here, in poetic and 
prophetic language, Judah's clothes are said to be washed 
in the blood of grapes." (6) Exodus 4:9, the waters of 
the Nile are turned into blood, teaching us that blood is the 
symbol and expression of Ood's judgment upon sin. (7) 
Exodus 12 : 13, the blood provides a covering and shelter 
for Israel from the avenging angel. We say again, that in 
these passages which are the first seven in the Scriptures in 
which blood is referred to, we discover a marvellously com- 
plete summary of all that is subsequently said about the 
precious blood. It is deeply significant, then, that in the 
first requirement in this covenant, which God made with 
Noah, man should be taught to regard the blood as sacred. 

God's Covenant with Noah 115 

We turn now to the second of God's requirements men- 
tioned here in connection with His covenant with Noah — 
'* Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be 
shed : for in the image of Qod made He man " (9:6). Here 
we have instituted the principle of all human government. 
The sword of magisterial authority is, for the first time, 
committed into the hands of man. Before the flood, there 
does not seem to have been any recognized form of human 
government designed for the suppression of crime and the 
punishment of evil doers. Cain murdered his brother, but 
his own life was spared. Lamech also slew a man, but there 
is no hint that he had to defend himself before any tribunal 
that had been ordained by Gk)d. But now, after the flood, 
capital punishment as the penalty of murder t^ ordained, 
ordained by God Himself, ordained centuries before the 
giving of the Mosaic law, and therefore, universally bind- 
ing until the end of time. It is important to observe that 
the reason for this law is not here based upon the well-being 
of man, but is grounded upon the basic fact that man is 
made * ' in the image of God. ' ' This expression has at least 
a twofold significance — a natural and a moral. The moral 
image of God in man was lost at the Fall, but the natural 
has been preserved as is clear from 1 Corinthians 11 : 7, 
and James 3:9. It is primarily because man is made in the 
image of Grod that it is sinful to slay him. * * To deface the 
King's image is a sort of treason among men, implying a 
hatred against him, and that if he himself were within 
reach, he would be served in the same manner. How much 
more treasonable, then, must it be to destroy, curse, oppress, 
or in any way abuse the image of the King of kings!" 
(Andrew Puller's Exposition of Genesis). As we have 
said above, God's words to Noah give us the institution of 
human government in the earth. The sword of magisterial 
authority has been given into the hands of man by God 
Himself, hence it is we read, **Let every soul be subject 
unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God : 
the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever there- 
fore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of Gk>d" 
(Rom. 13:1, 2). 

We turn now to the third of God's requirements — ^**And 
you, be ye fruitful, and multiply ; bring forth abundantly 
in the earth, and multiply therein" (9:7). This was the re- 
newal of God's word to Adam (1 : 28). The human family 

116 Gleanings in Genesis 

was gtarting out afresh. There was a new beginning. Noah 
stoody like Adam stood, as the head of the human race. The 
need for this word was obvious. The earth had been depop- 
ulated. The human family had been reduced to eight 
souls* (1 Pet. 3:20). If then the purpose of man's crea- 
tion was to be realized, if the earth was to be replenished 
and subdued, then must man be ''fruitful and multiply.'* 
* * And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon 
every beast of the earth and upon every fo^l of the air, 
upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes 
of the sea; into your hand are they delivered'^ (9 = 2) is 
further proof that Noah stood as the new head of the race, 
the lower orders of creation being delivered into his hands 
as they had been into the hands of Adam. 

7. ''And God said, This is the token of the covenant 
which I make between Me and you, and every living crea- 
ture that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set 
My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a cove- 
nant between Me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, 
when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be 

seen in the cloud ; and / tvUl look upon it, that I may 

remember the everlasting covenant between God and every 
living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth*' (9: 12- 
16). These verses bring before us the token of the cove- 
nant. In the giving of the rainbow God ratified the prom- 
ise which He had made. The bow in the cloud was not 
only to assure man that no more would the earth be de- 
stroyed by a flood, but it was also the memorial of the new 
relationship which God had entered into with His creatures. 
*^His eye," and not man's only, is upon the bow, and thus 
He gives them fellowship with Himself in that which speaks 
of peace in the midst of trouble, of light in the place of 
darkness ; and what this bow speaks of it is ours to realize, 
who have the reality of which all figures speak. 

" 'God is light,' and that which doth make manifest is 
light." Science has told us that the colors which every- 
where clothe the face of nature are but the manifold beauty 
of the light itself. The pure ray i\hich to us is colorless is 
but the harmonious blending of all possible colors. The 
primary one — a trinity in unity — from which all others are 

*It is something more than a coincidence that the word "covenant** is 
found in this connection Just eight times, see Genesis 6 : 18 ; 9 : 9, 11, 12, 
13, 15, 16, 17 — eight being the numeral that signifies a new beginning, 
as the eighth day Is the first of a new week. 

God's Covenant with Noah 117 

produced, are blue, red, and yellow ; and the actual color of 
any object is the result of its capacity to absorb the rest. 
If it absorb the red and yellow rays, the thing is blue ; if 
the blue and yellow, it is red ; if the red only, it is green ; 
and so on. Thus the light paints all nature ; and its beauty 
(which in the individual ray, we have not eyes for) comes 
out in partial displays wherein it is broken up for us and 
made perceptible. 

'' *Qod is light'; He is Father of lights.'' The glory, 
which in its unbroken unity is beyond what we have sight 
for, He reveals to us as distinct attributes in partial dis- 
plays which we are more able to take in, and with these He 
clothes in some way all the works of His hands. The jewels 
on the High Priest's breastplate — ^the many-colored gems 
whereon the names of His people were engraved were thus 
the **Urim and Thummim" — ^the ** Lights and Perfections," 
typically, of (Jod Himself; for His people are identified 
with the display of those perfections, those ** lights," in 
Him more unchangeable than the typical gems. 

* * In the rainbow the whole array of these lights manifests 
itself, the solar rays reflecting themselves in the storm ; the 
interpretation of which is simple. **When I bring a cloud 
over the earth," says the Lord, *'the bow shall be seen in 
the cloud ; and I (not merely you) will look upon it. " How 
blessed to know that the cloud that comes over our sky is of 
His bringing ! and if so, how sure that some way He will 
reveal His glory in it! But that is not all, nor the half; 
for surely but once has been the full display of the whole 
prism of glory, and that in the blackest storm of judgment 
that ever was ; and it is this in the cross of His Son that 
God above all looks upon and that He remembers" (F. W. 

In the rainbow we have more than a hint of grace. As 
some one has said, '*The bow is directed towards heaven, 
and arrow to it there is none, as if it had already been 
discharged." There are many parallels between the rain- 
bow and God's grace. As the rainbow is the joint product 
of storm and sunshine, so grace is the unmerited favor of 
God appearing on the dark background of the creature's 
sin. As the rainbow is the effect of the sun shining on the 
drops of rain in a raincloud, so Divine grace is manifested 
by God's love shining through the blood shed by our blessed 
Redeemer. As the rainbow is the telling out of the varied 

118 Gleanings in Genesis 

hues of the white light, so the ^* manifold grace of Gk)d" 
1 Pet 4: 10) is the ultimate expression of God's heart. As 
Nature knows nothing more exquisitely beautiful than the 
rainbow, so heaven itself knows nothing that equals in love- 
liness the wonderful grace of our God. As the rainbow is 
the union of heaven and earth — spanning the sky and reach- 
ing down to the ground — so grace in the one Mediator has 
brought together God and men. As the rainbow is a public 
sign of God hung out in the heavens that all may see it, so 
* ' the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to 
all men^^ (Titus 2: 11). Finally, as the rainbow has been 
displayed throughout all the past forty centuries, so in the 
ages to come God will shew forth 'Hhe exceeding riches of 
His grace, in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus ' ' 
(Eph. 2:7). 



Genesis 9 

In our last article we inquired into Qod 's Covenant with 
Noah — its basis, its contents, its requirements, etc. We 
saw, in the emerging out of the ark that from Noah and his 
sons the human family started out afresh. The new begin- 
ning promised weU. God entered into a covenant with 
Noah, declaring that the earth should not again be de- 
stroyed by a flood — thus did the Lord set the heart of His 
creatures at rest Then, we learned that ' * God blessed Noah 
and his sons"; that He caused the fear and dread of man 
to fall upon every beast of the field, and ** delivered'* all 
the lower orders of creation into his hands. Further, we 
discovered that man was now vested with the sword of 
magisterial authority, the principle of human government 
being ordained and instituted by God Himself. 

After such a merciful deliverance from the deluge, after 
witnessing such a solemn demonstration of Gkxl's holy 
wrath against sin, and after being started out with full 
provision and Divine assurance, one would have supposed 
that the human race, ever after, would adhere to the path 
of righteousness — ^but, alas I The very next thing we read 
is that ' ' Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a 
vineyard : and he drank of the wine and was drunken, and 
he was uncovered unthin his tenV* (Gen. 9 : 20, 21). Schol- 
ars tell us that the Hebrew word here for *' uncovered" 
clearly indicates a deliberate act and not a mere uncon- 
scious effect of drunkenness. The sins of intemperance and 
impurity are twin sisters! No wonder the Psalmist was 
constrained to cry, ''What is man that thou art mindful of 
himf What a contrast there is between this section of 
(Genesis and the last that we considered I Who would have 
imagined such a tragic sequel T How evident it is that truth 
is stranger than fiction. 

Genesis 9 brings before us the inauguration of a new he- 
ginning and as we study and ponder what is recorded 
herein our minds revert to the first ''beginning'* of the 
human race, and careful comparison of the two reveals the 
fact that there is a most extraordinary resemblance in the 


120 Gleanings in Genesis 

history of Noah with that of Adam. We would here call 
attention to a tenfold correspondence or likeness. Adam 
was placed upon an earth which came up out of the * * deep 
and which had previously been dealt with by Qod in judg- 
ment'' (Gen. 1:12); so, also, Noah came forth onto an 
earth which had just emerged from the waters of the great 
Deluge sent as a Divine judgment upon sin. Adam was 
made lord of creation (Oen. 1:28) and into the hands of 
Noah God also delivered all things (Gen. 9:2). Adam was 
** blessed'' by God and told to **be fruitful and multiply 
and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1 : 28), and, in like manner, 
Noah was * * blessed ' ' and told to * ' be fruitful and multiply 
and replenish the earth" (Gen. 9:1). Adam was placed by 
God in a garden to **dress and to keep it" (Gten, 2 : 15), and 
Noah ''began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vine- 
yard" (Gen. 9 : 20). In this garden Adam transgressed and 
fell, and the product of the vineyard was the occasion of 
Noah's sin and fall. The sin of Adam resulted in the ex- 
posure of his nakedness (Gten. 3:7), and so, too, we read 
*'And he (Noah) was uncovered within his tent" (Gen. 9: 
21). Adam's nakedness was covered by another (Gen. 
3: 21) ; thus also was it with Noah (Gten. 9: 23). Adam's 
sin brought a terrible curse upon his posterity (Rom. 5 : 12) , 
and so did Noah's too (Gen. 24: 24, 25). Adam had three 
sons — Cain, Abel and Seth, the last of which was the one 
through whom the promised Seed came ; and here again the 
analogy holds good, for Noah also had three sons — Japheth, 
Ham and Shem, the last mentioned being the one from 
whom descended the Messiah and Saviour. Almost imme- 
diately after Adam's fall a wonderful prophecy was given 
containing in outline the history of redemption (Gen. 3: 
15) ; and almost immediately after Noah's fall, a remark- 
able prophecy was uttered containing in outline the history 
of the great races of the earth. Thus does history repeat 

Noah "planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine 
and was drunken, and he was uncovered within his tent" 
(Gen. 9:21). As we read these words we are reminded 
of the Holy Spirit's comment upon the Old Testament 
Scriptures — ^**For whatsoever things were written afore- 
time were written for our learning" (Rom. 15:4). What 
then are we to "learn" from this narration of Noah's sad 

Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 121 

First, we discover a striking proof of the Divine inspira- 
tion of the scriptures. In the Bible human nature is 
painted in its true colors : the characters of its heroes are 
faithfully depicted, the sins of its most prominent person- 
ages are frankly recorded. It is human to err, but it is 
also human to conceal the blemishes of those we admire. 
Had the Bible been a human production, had it been written 
by uninspired historians, the defects of its leading char- 
acters would have been ignored, or if recorded at all, an 
attempt at extenuation would have been made. Had some 
human admirer chronicled the history of Noah, his awful 
fall would have been omitted. The fact that it is recorded 
and that no effort is made to excuse his sin, is evidence that 
the characters of the Bible are painted in the colors of truth 
and nature, that such characters were not sketched by 
human pens, that Moses and the other historians must have 
written by Divine inspiration. 

Second, we learn from Noah's fall that man at his best 
estate is altogether vanity, in other words, we see the utter 
and total depravity of human nature. Genesis 9 deals with 
the beginning of a new dispensation, and like those which 
preceded it and those which followed it, this also opened 
with failure. Whatever the test may be, man is unable to 
stand. Placed in an environment which the besom of de- 
struction had swept clean ; a solemn warning of the judg- 
ment of heaven upon evil-doers only recently spread before 
him ; the blessing of God pronounced upon him, the sword 
of magisterial authority placed in his hand, Noah, never- 
theless, fails to govern himself and falls into open wicked- 
ness. Learn then that man is essentially ''evil" (Matt. 
7: 11) and that naught avails but **a new creatjnn*' (Gal. 

Third, we learn from Noah's fall the danger of using 
wine and the awful evils that attend intemperance. It is 
surely significant and designed as a solemn warning that 
the first time wine is referred to in the Scriptures it is 
found associated with drunkenness, shame and a curse. 
Solemn are the denunciations of the Word upon drunken- 
ness, a sin which, despite all the efforts of temperance 
reformers, is, taking the world as a whole, still on the 
increase. Drunkenness is a sin against Ood, for it is the 
abusing of His mercies; it is a sin against our neighbors, 
for it deprives those who are in want of their necessary 

122 Gleanings in Genesis 

supplies and sets before them an evil example ; it is a sin 
against ourself, for it robs of usefulness, self-government 
and common decency. Moreover, drunkenness commonly 
leads to other evils. It did in Noah 's case ; Noah 's sin gave 
occasion for his son to sin. 

Fourth, in Noah 's sin we learn our need of watchfulness 
and prayer. A believer is never immune from falling. 
The evil nature is still within us and nothing but constant 
dependency upon God can enable us to withstand the solici- 
tations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. '^Let him 
that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" is a word 
that every saint needs daily to take to heart. Neither age 
nor character is any security in the hour of testing. Here 
was a man who had withstood the temptations of an evil 
world for six hundred years, yet nevertheless, he now suc- 
cumbs to the lusts of the flesh. And this is one of the things 
which is written for ^^our admonition'^ (1 Cor. 10:11). 
Then let us not sit in judgment upon Noah with pharisaical 
complacency, rather let us ^'consider ourselves, lest we 
also be tempted'' (Gal. 6:1). No experience of Gkxi's 
mercies in the past can deliver us from exposure to new 
temptations in the future. 

Finally, Noah's fall utters a solemn warning to every 
servant of God. It is deeply significant that following this 
prophecy, recorded in the closing verses of Genesis 9, 
nothing whatever save his death is recorded about Noah 
after his terrible fall. The last three hundred years of his 
life are a blank I ^ ^ But I keep under my body, and bring 
it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have 
preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 
Cor. 9:27). 

Having dwelt at some length upon Noah's fall and the 
lessons it is designed to teach us, we turn now to examine 
the prophecy which he uttered immediately after. Three 
things will engage our attention: the occasion of this 
prophecy, the meaning of this prophecy, and the fulfilment 
of it. 

1. The occasion of Noah's prophecy. The setting of it 
is a remarkable one. The terrible fall of the illustrious 
patriarch and the wonderful prediction he uttered concern- 
ing the future history of the three great divisions of the 
human family are placed in juxtaposition. The fact that 
the Holy Spirit has thus joined these two together is a 

Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 123 

Striking illustration of the truth that Ood's ways are dif- 
ferent from ours. The devout student of the Word has 
learnt that not only are the very words of Scripture in- 
spired of Oody but that their arrangement and order also 
evidence a wisdom that transcends the human. What then 
are we to learn from this linking together of Noah's fall 
and Noah's prophecy t 

In seeking an answer to our last question we need to 
observe the scope of the prophecy itself. Noah 's prediction 
contains an outline sketch of the history of the nations of 
the world. The great races of the earth are here seen in 
their embryonic condition: they are traced to their com- 
mon source, through Shem, Ham and Japheth, back to 
Noah. The nature of the stream is determined by the 
character of the fountain — a bitter fountain cannot send 
forth sweet waters. The type of fruit is governed by the 
order of the tree — a corrupt tree cannot produce wholesome 
fruit. Noah is the fountain, and what sort of a stream 
could flow from such a fountain ! Read again the sad recital 
of Noah 's fall and of Ham 's wickedness and then ask, what 
must be the fruit which springs from such a tree, what 
must be the harvest that is reaped from such a sowing? 
What will be the history of the races that spring from 
Noah's three sonst What can it bet A history that began 
by Noah abusing God 's mercies ; a history that commenced 
with the head of the new race failing, completely, to govern 
himself; a history that started with Ham's shameful im- 
propriety can have only one course and end. It began with 
human failure, it has continued thus, and it will end thus. 
Here then is the answer to our question : Why is Noah 's 
prophecy, which sketches the history of the three great races 
of mankind, linked to Noah's fallT The two are joined 
together as cause and effect, as premise and conclusion, 
as sowing and harvest ! 

It was written of old that **tlie wisdom of this world is 
foolishness with €k>d." A striking illustration of this is 
discovered today in the wicked writings of the self -termed 
** Higher Critics." These blind leaders of the blind aim 
to degrade God 's Word to the level of human productions 
and in this remarkable prophecy of Noah regarding his 
sons they see nothing more than a hasty ejaculation caused 
by the knowledge of his humiliation and expressed in this 
«urse and blessing. That these words of Noah were not 

124 Gleanings in Genesis 

uttered to gratify any feeling of resentment, but were 
spoken under a Divine impulse is proven by the fulfilment 
of the prophecy itself. A very superficial acquaintance 
with the facts of ancient history will evidence the fact that 
there is far more in Noah's words than a local expression 
of indignation and gratitude. A careful comparison of 
other scriptures shows that this utterance of Noah was a 
prophecy and its remarkable fulfilment demonstrates that 
it was a Divine revelation, 

^^And he said, Cursed he Canaan; a servant of servants 
shall he he unto his hrethren. 

^'And he said, Blessed he the Lord Ood of 8hem; and 
Canaan shall he his servant. 

^^God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the 
tents of 8hem; and Caanan shall he his servant (Oen. 

Let us consider now the meaning of Noah's prophecy. 
This utterance consists of two parts : a malediction and a 
benediction. Noah's prediction concerning his sons cor- 
responds with their conduct on the occasion of their father 's 
drunkenness. Fearful had been the fall of Noah, but it 
was a still greater sin for Ham, on discovering the sad con- 
dition of his parent, to go out and report with malignant 
pleasure to his brethren. It is ' * fools ' ' who * * make a mock 
of sin" (Prov. 14: 9). For a child to expose and sneer at 
his parent's fall was wickedness of the worst kind, and 
evidenced a heart thoroughly depraved. 

In the curse passed upon Canaan we find an exceedingly 
solemn instance of the sins of the fathers being visited upon 
the children. In this day of human pride and scepticism, 
when everything is questioned and challenged, men have 
dared to criticise the ethics of this hereditary law. It has 
been termed unmerciful and unjust. The humble believer 
does not attempt to pry into things which are too deep for 
him, it is enough for him that the thrice holy Gk)d has 
instituted this law and therefore he knows it is a righteous 
one whether he can see the justice of it or no. 

Ham's sin consisted of an utter failure to honor his fa- 
ther. He was lacking, altogether, in filial love. Had he 
really cared for his father at all he would have acted as 
his brothers did ; but instead, he manifested a total disre- 
spect for and subjection unto his parent. And mark the 
fearful consequence: he reaped exactly as he had sown — 

Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 125 

Ham sinned as a son and was punished in his son I The 
punishment meted out to Ham was that his son shall he 
brought into subjection to others^ his descendants shall be 
compelled to honor, yea, ''serve" others — ''servant of serv- 
ants'' (verse 25) implies the lowest drudgery, slavery. 

It is to be noted that the "curse" uttered by Noah did 
not fall directly on Ham but upon one of his sons, the 
fourth — * ' Canaan ' ' ( Gten. 10 : 4 ) . As we shall seek to show, 
this curse was not confined to Canaan but embraced all 
the descendants of Ham. It is highly probable that 
* ' Canaan ' ' was specifically singled out from the rest of his 
brethren as a special encouragement to the Israelites who, 
centuries later, were to go up and occupy the Promised 
land. Moses would thus be taught by the Holy Spirit that 
a special curse rested upon the then occupants of the land, 
f. e., the Canaanites. Tet, as we have said, all of Ham's 
children appear to have been included within the scope of 
this malediction as is evident from the fact that no blessing 
at all was pronounced upon Ham as was the case with each 
of his brothers. 

"Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall 
be his servant" (verse 26). The reward of Shem was in 
the sphere of religious privileges. The Divine title em- 
ployed here supplies the key. In the following verse we 
read, "God shall enlarge Japheth," but here "Blessed be 
the Lord God of Shem," this being the title expressive of 
covenant relationship. Qod was to enter into covenant 
relationship with the children of Shem. The realization 
that Jehovah was to be the God of Shem caused Noah to 
break forth into thanksgiving — ''Blessed he the Lord Gk>d 
of Shem." 

"God shall enlarge Japheth" (verse 27). The word 
Japheth means "enlargement" so that here there was a 
play upon words. "And he shall dwell in the tents of 
Shem." This expression is somewhat ambiguous, the ob- 
scurity being occasioned by the difficulty to ascertain the 
antecedent. Scholars and students have differed as to 
whether the " he " refers to God or to Japheth dwelling in 
the tents of Shem. Personally, we incline toward the latter 
alternative, though we believe that each of them has been 
verified in subsequent history. May it not be that the Holy 
Spirit has designedly left it uncertain, to show that hoth 
interpretations are true T Sure it is that Ood did dwell in 

126 Gleanings in Genesis 

the tents of Shem, and equally sure is it that the descend- 
ants of Japheth are now doing so. 

3. The fulfillment of Noah's prophecy. The wonderful 
prediction uttered by the builder of the Ark gives in a few 
brief sentences the history of the new world, and shows the 
positions that were delegated by God to the three great divi- 
sions of the human family. In the closing verses of (Genesis 
9 we have a remarkable unfolding of the future destinies 
of the new humanity. The various parts which are to be 
played in human history by its leading characters are now 
made known. The subjection of one, the religious pre- 
eminence of the second, and the enlarging of the third head 
of the postdiluvian race, is here revealed. 

^'Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be 
unto his brethren'' (verse 25). Above, we intimated that 
as no blessing at all was pronounced upon Ham as was 
the case with each of his brothers, it would seem that the 
curse was not intended to be limited to Canaan (there being 
a particular reason why Canaan should be thus singled out, 
namely, as an encouragement to the Israelites,) but included 
all of his children. By tracing the history of Ham's other 
sons it becomes evident that the scope of Noah's prophecy 
reached beyond Canaan. Nimrod sprang from Ham through 
Cush (Oen. 10: 6-8), and he founded the city and empire 
Babylon. Mizraim was another of Ham's children and he 
was the father of the Egyptians (Gten. 10:6 and Ps. 78: 
51). For a time Babylon and Egypt waxed great, but sub- 
sequently both of them were reduced to subjection, first by 
the Persians who descended from Shem, and later by the 
Greeks and Bomans who were the children of Japheth. 
And from these early subjugations they have never recov- 
ered themselves. The whole of Africa was i>eopled by the 
descendants of Ham, and for many centuries the greater 
part of that continent lay under the dominion of the 
Bomans, Saracens, and Turks. And, as is well known, the 
negroes who were for so long the slaves of Europeans and 
Americans, also claim Ham as their progenitor. 

'^Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall 
be his servant" (verse 26). Two things are promised here: 
Jehovah was to be the God of Shem and Canaan was to be 
his servant. Shem was **the father of all the children of 
Eber," that is, the Hebrews (Gen. 10:21). Thus, in the 
Hebrews, the Imowledge and worship of God was preserved 

Noah's Fall and Noah's Prophecy 127 

in the family of Shem. The fulfillment of this part of the 
prophecy is well known to our readers. Gk)d was in a 
peculiar sense the Gk>d of the Hebrews — ^ ^ And I will dwell 
among the children of Israel, and will be their Ood*^ (Ex. 
29: 45). And again, '^You only have I known of all the 
families of the earth'' (Amos 3:2). 

^'And Canaan shall be his (Shem's) servant/' This 
received its first fulfillment in the days of Joshua — ^^^And 
Joshua made them (the Oibeonites) hewers of wood and 
drawers of water for the congregation'' (Josh. 9 : 27). The 
following scriptures set forth its further accomplishment: 
''And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they 
put the Canaanites to tribute' ' (Judges 1:28). ''And all 
the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Periz- 
zites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children 
of Israel, their children that were left after them in the 
land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly 
to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bond 
service unto this day" (1 Kings 9 : 20, 21). 

"Ood shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the 
tents of Shem" (verse 27). Two things were also predicted 
of Japheth : first, he should be enlarged ; second, he should 
dwell in the tents of Shem or, in other words, should receive 
blessing from Shem. The accomplishment of this predic- 
tion is witnessed to by history both sacred and secular. 
Those nations which have been most enlarged by Qod have 
descended from Japheth. The Greeks and the Romans who 
in their time dominated practically all of the then known 
world ; and more recently the European Powers who have 
entered into the rich possessions of Asia (inhabited by the 
children of Shem) ; and, to-day, the Anglo-Saxon race, 
which occupies more territory than any other people, are 
all the descendants of Noah's firstborn! In Genesis 10, 
where a list of Japheth 's sons is found, we read, ' ' By these 
were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands. ' ' 

"And he shall dwell in the tents of Shem" intimates 
that Japheth was to be Shem 's guest, that he should share 
the rest and shelter of Shem's tabernacles. How remark- 
ably has this prophecy been fulfilled spiritually I "The 
revelation which we prize is that of the God of Israel; the 
Saviour in whom we trust is the seed of Abraham; the 
Old Testament was written principally for Israel ; and the 
New Testament though written in a Japhetic tongue, and, 

128 Gleanings in Genesis 

therefore for us, was penned by Jewish fingers'^ (Urqu- 
hart). To this may be added the words of our Lord, 
^'Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4: 22) ; and that remark- 
able statement of the Apostle Paul 's in Romans 11 where, 
writing of the Gentiles, he says, '^And thou, being a wild 
olive tree, wert grafted in among them (Israel), and with 
them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree" 
(verse 17). Thus do we see Japheth '' dwelling in the tents 
of Shem." 

Who but He who knows the end from the beginning could 
have outlined the whole course of the three great divisions 
of the postdiluvian race so tersely and so accurately 1 



Genesis 10, 11 

In Genesis 10 and 11 we have the historical links which 
connect for us the time of Noah with the days of Abraham. 
Uninteresting as they may appear to the casual reader they 
furnish most valuable information to the prayerful student. 
Without these two chapters and the genealogies which they 
contain, we should be quite unable to trace the fulfillment 
of Noah's wonderful prophecy; we should be without any 
satisfactory solution to the etiinological problem presented 
by the variety and number of the different nations and 
tongues; and, we should be left in ignorance concerning 
the cause (from the human side) which led up to Qod 
abandoning His dealings with the nations and singling out 
Abram to be the father of His chosen people Israel 

Genesis 10 and 11 give us the history of the postdiluvian 
world ; they show us the ways of men in this new world — 
in revolt against God and seeking to glorify and deify 
themselves ; and they set before us the principles and judg- 
ments upon which this world is founded. For the under- 
standing of the chapters it is necessary to pay careful 
attention to their structure and chronology. Chapter 
eleven historically antedates much of Genesis 10, furnishing 
us with a commentary upon it. Verses eight to twelve of 
chapter ten and verses one to nine of chapter eleven should 
be read as two parentheses. Reading them thus, we find, 
that outside of these parentheses, these chapters furnish 
us with the genealogical descent of Abram from Noah. Upon 
these genealogies and origins of the various nations we 
shall not now comment, preferring to dwell at some length 
on the parenthetical portions. 

Like everything else in Genesis, the historical events 
recorded in these brief parentheses are remarkable in their 
typical significance and reach. In the clearer and fuller 
light of the New Testament we cannot fail to see that Nim- 
rod foreshadowed the last great World-Ruler before our 
Lord descends to earth and ushers in His millennial reign 
It is deeply significant that the person and history of Nim- 
rod are here introduced at the point immediately preceding 


ISO Gleanings in Genesis 

Ood calling Abram from among the Gentiles and bringing 
him into the Promised Land. So will it be again in the 
near future. Just before GUkI gathers Abraham's descend- 
ants from out of the lands of the Gentiles (many, perhaps 
the majority of whom will be found dwelling at that very 
time in Assyria, — see Isaiah 11:11), there will arise one 
who will fill out the picture here typically outlined by 
Nimrod. We refer of course to the Antichrist As the 
Antichrist is a subject of such interest and importance — 
his manifestation being now so near at hand — ^we digress 
for a moment to say one or two things about him. 

To begin at the beginning. We need not remind our 
readers that Satan is the avowed and age-long enemy of 
God and that all through the course of human history he 
has been opposing his Maker and seeking to secure the 
scepter of earth 's sovereignty. Further, we need not dwell 
upon the fact, so plainly revealed in Scripture, that Satan 
is an imitator, parodying and counterfeiting the ways and 
things of the Lord. But the climax of all Satan 's schemes 
has not yet become history, though the inspired Word shows 
us clearly what form this climax will assume. God 's pur- 
poses for this earth are to be realized and consummated in 
a man, "the man Christ Jesus" who will yet reign over 
it as King of kings and Lord of lords. Satan 's designs will 
also head up in a man, **the man of Sin" who will for a 
short season reign over the earth as its acknowledged King. 
This man will be, preeminently, energized by Satan himself 
(2 Thess. 2:9). He will assume the right to enforce his 
autocratic dictates on all alike — ^''And he causeth all^ both 
small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a 
mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads ; and that 
no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the 
name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13 : 16, 
17). He it was who was before the Psalmist when he said, 
**He (Christ) shall wound the head over many countries'' 
(Psa. 110:6). He was the one pictured by the prophet 
when he wrote — ^''Yea also, because he transgresseth by 
wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who 
enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be 
satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heofpeth 
unto him all people,'' etc., see Habakkuk 2: 1-8. This Man 
of Sin (2 Thess. 2:3) will be the super-man of whom the 
world is even now talking about, and for whom it is so 

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel ISl 

rapidly being prepared. He will be the '^Lord of Light" 
— ^the great Mahatma — ^for whom Theosophists and Baha- 
ists are looking. 

The Antichrist is not only the subject of Old Testament 
prophecy, but he is also the subject of Old Testament 
typology. Most of the characters brought before us in Old 
Testament history are types of one of two men — ^the Christ 
or the Antichrist. Much attention has been paid to the 
study of and much has been written about those personages 
which foreshadowed our blessed Lord, but much less 
thought has been devoted to the consideration of those who 
prefigured the Man of Sin. A wide field here lies open for 
investigation, and we doubt not that as his appearing draws 
nigh the Holy Spirit will furnish additional light on this 
little studied subject. 

One of those who foreshadowed the Antichrist was i^tm- 
rod. In at least seven particulars can the analogy be clearly 
traced. First : his very name describes that which will be 
the most prominent characteristic of all in the one whom 
he typifies. ** Nimrod" means ^^the Rebel/* reminding us 
of one of the titles of the Antichrist, found in 2 Thessaloni- 
ans 2 : 8 — * ' The Lawless One ' ' — B,. V. Second : the form 
which Nimrod 's rebellion assumed was to head a great con- 
federacy in open revolt against Ood. This confederacy is 
described in Qenesis eleven and that it was an organized 
revolt against Jehovah is clear from the language of Qenesis 
10:9 — ^*' Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord/* 
which (as we shall see) means that he pushed his own 
designs in brazen defiance of his Maker. Thus it will be 
with the Antichrist ; of him it is written, ' ' And the King 
shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself 
and magnify himself above every god (ruler), and shall 
apeak marvellous things against the Gtod of Oods, and shall 
prosper till the indignation be accomplished ; for that that 
is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the 
€k>d of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard 
any god, for he shall magnify himself above all" (Dan. 
11:36, 37). Third: four times over the word *' mighty'* 
is used to describe Nimrod. Here again we are reminded 
of the Lawless One of whom it is said, ''Even him whose 
coming is after the working of Satan with all power and 
signs and lying wonders" (2 Thess. 2:9). Fourth: Nim- 
rod was a ''hunter" (Gten. 10:9), probably a hunter of 

1S2 Gleanings in Genesis 

men. This is precisely what the Lawless One will be. In 
Psalm 5:6 he is denominated ''the hloody and deceitful 
man." Fifth: Nimrod was a ''king" — ^the beginning of 
his kingdom was Babel (Gen. 10: 10), and, as we have seen 
in Daniel 11:36 the Antichrist is also termed "king." 
Sixth : Nimrod 's headquarters were in Babylon, see Genesis 
10 : 10 and 11 : 1-9 ; so also, we find the Man of Sin is called 
"the king of Babylon" (Is. 14:4), and in the Apocalypse 
he is connected with "mystery Babylon" (Rev. 17:3-5). 
Seventh: Nimrod 's supreme ambition and desire was to 
make to himself a name. He had an inordinate desire for 
fame. Here, too the antitype agrees with the type. "Pride" 
is spoken of as the condemnation of the Devil : it was an 
impious ambition which brought about his downfall. The 
Man of Sin will be fully possessed by Satan, hence, an 
insatiable pride will possess him. It is this Satanic egotism 
which will cause him to oppose and "exalt himself above 
all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he as 
Ghxl sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he 
is God" (2 Thess.2:4). 

We have now prepared the way for a more detailed, yet 
brief, exposition of the two parenthetical portions of Gene- 
sis 10 and 11. 

"And Cush begat Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one 
in the earth" (Gkn. 10:8). The first thing we note here 
is that Nimrod was a descendant of Ham, through Cush ; 
in other words, he sprang from that branch of Noah's fam- 
ily on which rested the "curse." Next, we observe that it 
is said, "he began to be mighty," which seems to suggest 
the idea that he struggled for the preeminence, and by 
mere force of will obtained it. Finally, we observe that 
he "began to be mighty in the earth." The intimation 
appears to be that of conquest or subjugation, as though 
he became a leader and ruler over men, as indeed he did. 

"He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; wherefore 
it is said. Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the 
Lord" (Gen. 10:9). In so brief a description the repeti- 
tion of these words, "mighty hunter before the Lord" 
are significant. Three times in Genesis 10 and again in 
1 Chronicles 1 : 10 the word "mighty" is applied to Nim- 
rod. The Hebrew word is "gibbor," and is translated in 
the Old Testament "chief" and "chieftain." The verse 
in Chronicles is in perfect agreement with these in Genesis 

Nimrod and the Tower of Babet ISS 


And Cnsh begat Nimrod ; he began to be mighty npon 
the earth." The Chaldee paraphrase of this verse says, 
^^Cash begat Nimrod who began to prevail in wickedness, 
for he slew innocent blood and rebelled against Jehovah." 
Observe, '*a mighty hunter before the Lord/* If we com- 
pare this expression with a similar one in (Genesis 6 : 11 — 
**The earth also (in the days of Noah) was corrupt before 
Ood/* the impression conveyed is that this ^' Rebel" pur- 
sued his own impious and ambitious designs in brazen and 
open defiance of the Almighty. As we shall see, the con- 
tents of Genesis eleven confirm this interpretation. 

''And the beginning of his kingdom was BabeV* (Gene- 
sis 10: 10). Here is the key to the first nine verses of the 
eleventh chapter. Here we have the first mention of Babel, 
and like the first mention of anything in Scripture this 
one demands careful consideration. In the lai^uage of 
that time Babel meant ''the gate of Ood'* but afterwards, 
because of the judgments which Gk)d infiicted there, it came 
to mean "Confusion," and from here onwards this is its 
force or meaning. By coupling together the various hints 
which the Holy Spirit has here given us we learn that 
Nimrod organized not only an imperial government over 
which he presided as king, but that he instituted a new and 
idolatrous worship. If the type is perfect, and we believe 
it is, then like the Lawless One will yet do, Nimrod de- 
manded and received Divine honors; in all probability it 
is just here that we have the introduction of idolatry. Here, 
again, we learn how wonderfully the first mention of any- 
thing in Scripture defines its future scope ; from this point 
Babylon in Scripture stands for that which is in opposition 
to Gh>d and His people — it was a Babylonish garment (Josh. 
7 : 21) which led to the first sin in the promised land, while 
from Revelation 17 we learn that Romanism, which will 
gather into itself the whole of apostate Christendom, is 
termed "Mystery Babylon." 

Out of that land he went forth into Assyria (marginal 
rendering) and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, 
and Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah; the 
same is a great city" (Gten. 10: 11, 12). From these state- 
ments we gather the impression that Nimrod 's ambition 
was to establish a world-empire. But we must turn now 
to the next chapter, asking our readers to study carefully 
the first nine verses in the light of what we have said above. 

134 Gleanings in Genesis 

^'And the whole earth was of one language, and of one 
speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the 
east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and 
they dwelt there'' (11:1, 2). These geographical and 
topographical references have a moral force, just as we 
read of ^' going doivn to Egypt,** but "wp to Jerusalem." 
Here we are told that men journeyed *'from the east," 
i. e., turned their backs upon the sunrise. Note further, 
**a plain (not a ** mountain") in the land of Shinar." 

Nimrod is not mentioned at all in Genesis 11, but from 
the statements made in the previous chapter we learn that 
he was the ^^ chief" and ''king" which organized and 
headed the movement and rebellion here described. 

''And they said, Gk> to, let us build us a city, and a 
tower, whose top may reach unto heaven ; and let us make 
us a name, lest we he scattered abroad upon the face of the 
whole earth" (11:4). Here we discover a most blatant 
defiance of Gk>d, a deliberate refusal to obey His command 
given through Noah. He had said, ' ' Be fruitful, and multi- 
ply, and replenish the earth*' {Qen. 9:1); but they said, 
"Let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad upon 
the face of the whole earth." 

As we have seen, Nimrod 's ambition was to establish a 
world-empire. To accomplish this two things were neces- 
sary. First, a center of unity, a city headquarters; and 
second, a motive for the encouragement and inspiration of 
his followers. This latter was supplied in the " let us make 
us a name." It was an inordinate desire for fame. Nim- 
rod 's aim was to keep mankind all together under his own 
leadership ' ' lest we be scattered. ' ' The idea of the ' ' tower ' ' 
(considered in the light of its setting) seems to be that of 
strength — ^a stronghold — ^rather than eminence. 

' ' And the Lord said*, Behold, the people is one, and they 
have all one language ; and this they begin to do ; and now 
nothing will be restrained from them, which they have 
imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound 
their language, that they may not understand one another 's 
speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence 
upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build 
the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel (Confu- 
sion) ; because the Lord did there confound the language 
of all the earth, and from thence did the Lord scat- 
ter them abroad upon the face of all the earth" (11: 
6-9). Another crisis had arrived in the history of the world. 

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel 135 

Once again the human race was guilty of the sin of apostasy. 
Therefore did Ood intervene, brought Nimrod 's schemes to 
naught by confounding the speech of his subjects and 
scattered them throughout the earth. Here was one of the 
mightiest and most far-reaching miracles of history. It 
finds no parallel until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit 
on the Day of Pentecost when another miracle of ' ' tongues ' ' 
was performed. The effect of Gk)d's intervention was the 
origination of the different nations and after the destruc- 
tion of the Tower of Babel we get the formation of the 
**worW as we now have it. At this point the nations were 
abandoned to their own devices — ^^Otod gave them up*' 
(Bom. 1) — ^but not until the race had twice enjoyed a 
revelation of God's mercy (first to Adam and then to Noah) 
and had twice forsaken Him before and now, after the 

To sum up. In Nimrod and his schemes we see Satan's 
initial attempt to raise up a universal ruler of men. In 
his inordinate desire for fame, in the mighty power which 
he wielded, in his ruthless and brutal methods — suggested 
by the word ''hunter"; in his blatant defiance of the 
Creator, (seen in his utter disregard for His command to 
replenish the earth,) by determining to prevent his sub- 
jects from being scattered abroad ; in his founding of the 
kingdom of Babylon — the Gate of God — ^thus arrogating to 
himself Divine honors; inasmuch as the Holy Spirit has 
placed the record of these things immediately before the 
inspired account of God's bringing Abram into Canaan — 
pointing forward to the re-gathering of Israel in Palestine 
immediately after the overthrow of the Lawless One ; and 
finally, in the fact that the destruction of his kingdom is 
described in the words, *'Let us go down and there con- 
found their language" (11:7 — foreshadowing so marvel- 
lously the descent of Christ from Heaven to vanquish His 
impious Rival, we cannot fail to see that there is here, 
beneath the historical narrative, something deeper than 
that which appears on the surface ; yea, that there is here 
a complete typical picture of the person, work and destruc- 
tion of the Anti-christ. 

Much more might have been written upon this interesting 
and suggestive incident, but we trust sufficient has been 
said to indicate the broad outlines of its typical teaching 
and to stimulate others to further study for the filling in 
of the details. 


Genesis 12 

We have now reached a section of this book which is of 
surpassing interest and one that is full of important lessons 
for those who are members of the household of faith. The 
passage for our present consideration introduces us to the 
third great section of Genesis. As its name intimates, 
Genesis is the book of Beginnings. Its literary structure is 
true to its title for the whole of its contents center around 
three beginnings. First there is the beginning of the human 
race in Adam ; second, there is the new beginning on the 
post-diluvian earth in Noah and his sons; third, there is 
the beginning of the Chosen Nation in Abram. Thus in 
Genesis we have three great *' beginnings, " and therefore 
as three is the number of the Godhead, we see how in this 
first book of the Divine Library, the very autograph of 
Deity is stamped on the opening pages of Holy Writ as 
though anticipating and rebuking the modern assaults on 
this book by the Evolutionists and Higher Critics. 

The relative importance (we do not say ''value*') of the 
three main divisions of Genesis is indicated by their respec- 
tive dimensions. The first two divisions cover a period of 
not less than two thousand years, yet, but eleven chapters 
are devoted to this section of human history ; whereas the 
third division, covering scarcely four hundred years, con- 
tains no less than thirty-nine chapters. More than three- 
fourths of the book is occupied with narrating the lives of 
Abram and the first three generations of his descendants. 

While it is true that the first two divisions of the book 
are embraced by the first eleven chapters in Genesis, yet, 
from a literary viewpoint, it would really be more correct 
to regard these chapters as a preface^ not only to the re- 
maining twenty-nine chapters of Genesis, but also to the 
entire Old Testament, and, we may add, of the Bible as a 
whole. This Divine ''preface" is given to explain that 
which is made known in all that follows. The first eleven 
chapters of Genesis are really the foundation on which rests 
the remainder of the Old Testament. They trace in rapid 
review the line of descent from Adam to Abram. It has 
been well said concerning the book of Genesis that "as the 


The Call of Abraham 1S7 

root to the stem so are chapters 1-11 to 12-50, and as the 
stem to the tree so is Oenesis to the rest of the Bible. ' ' One 
of the main purposes of Oenesis is to reveal to ns the origin 
and beginnings of the Nation of Israel, and in the first 
eleven chapters we are shown the different steps by which 
Israel became a separate and Divinely chosen nation. In 
Genesis 10 and 11 the entire human race is before ns, but 
from Oenesis 12 onwards attention is directed to one man 
and his descendants. 

Oenesis 12 brings before ns Abram — ^^'the father of all 
them that believe. ' ' Abram whose name was subsequently 
changed to Abraham the most illustrious personage in 
ancient history. Abraham! venerated by Jews, Chris- 
tians and Mohammedans. Abraham I the progenitor of the 
nation of Israel. Abraham I termed * ' the friend of Ood. ' ' 
Abraham! from whom, according to the flesh, our Lord 
came. Surely we shall be richly repaid if we devote our 
most diligent attention to the prayerful study of the life 
of such a man. The present article will serve to introduce 
a short series of papers which will be given to the considera- 
tion of the history of one who, in several respects, was the 
most eminent of all the patriarchs. 

''Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Oct thee out of 
thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father's 
house, unto a land that I will show thee" (Oen. 12:1). 
The tense of the verb here looks back to an incident which 
was referred to by Stephen and which is recorded in Acts 
7 : 2, 3 — ' ' The Ood of glory appeared unto our father Abra- 
ham, when he was in Mesopotamia before he dwelt in 
Charran, and said unto him, Oct thee out of thy country, 
and from thy kindred and come into the land which I shall 
show thee." Three things here call for a brief comment; 
first, the Divine title used in this connection; second, the 
fact of the Lord 's ' ' appearing, ' ' and third. His communica- 
tion to Abram. 

The Divine title which is used here is found in only one 
other scripture, namely. Psalm 29, which is one of the 
Millennial Psalms — ^''The voice of the Lord is upon the 
waters, the Ood of Glory thundereth" (v. 3). That this is 
a Millennial Psalm is clear from verse 10 — ^"The Lord 
sitteth upon the flood yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. ' * 
Closely connected with the above Divine title is the one 
by which the Lord Jesus is designated in Psalm 24 (an- 

1S8 Gleanings in Genesis 

other Millennial Psalm) — ^''Lift up your heads, O ye gates; 
and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King 
of Olory shall come in" (verse 7). Thus we see that this 
title is peculiarly a Kingdom title, and therefore, when 
Jehovah appeared to the father of the Kingdom people, it 
was as *'The God of Glory." The appropriateness of this 
title is further evident from the religious state of Abram 
and his fathers at the time that God appeared to him, 
namely, a state of Idolatry. The *'God of Glory" was in 
vivid contrast from the * ' other gods ' ' mentioned in Joshua 

* * The God of Glory appeared unto our father Abraham, 
when he was in Mesopotamia. ' ' This is the first recorded 
*' appearing" of God after the banishment of our parents 
from Eden. It was probably the earliest of all the theo- 
phanie manifestations that we read of in the Old Testament 
and which anticipated the Incarnation as well as marked the 
successive revelations of God to men. We do not hear of 
God appearing to Abel or Noah. Great then was the privi- 
lege thus conferred upon the one who afterwards was 
termed the * 'friend of God." We turn now to consider 
the terms of the Divine communication received by Abram. 

And God said unto him *'Get thee out of thy country, 
and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I 
shall show thee. ' ' This command from God came to Abram 
in Mesopotamia, in the city of Ur of the Chaldees, 
which was situated near to the Persian Gulf. The time of 
Abram 's call is significant. It occurred shortly after the 
destruction of Babel and dispersion of the nations. As we 
endeavoured to show in our last paper, even in that early 
day, men had added to their other offences against God, the 
sin of idolatry. A scripture which throws considerable 
light upon the religious conditions that prevailed through- 
out the earth in the days immediately preceding the Call of 
Abram is to be found in Roman 1 — ^ ' When they knew God, 
they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful ; but 
became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart 
was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they be- 
came fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible 
God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to 
birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Where- 
fore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the 
lusts of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies be- 

The Call of Abraham 1S9 

tween themselves: who changed the tmth of God into a 
lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the 
Creator, who is blessed for ever" (vs. 21-25, and read to 
end of V. 28). Three times over in this solemn passage we 
read *^Qod gave them up," that is, He turned away from 
those who had first turned from Him. We believe the his- 
torical reference here is to Oenesis 11. It was at that time 
God abandoned the nations, suffering them all to ' ' walk in 
their own ways" (Acts 14:16, and compare Amos 3:3). 
The family from which Abram sprang was no exception to 
the general rule, his progenitors were idolaters too as we 
learn from Joshua 24 : 2 — * ^ Thus saith the Lord God of Is- 
rael, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old 
time even Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of 
Nachor and they served other gods.^' 

Here then is the setting of the incident now before us. 
Having abandoned (temporarily) the nations, (}od now 
singles out a man from whom the Chosen Nation was to 
spring. Having dealt in judgment (at Babel) (}od now 
deals in grace. This has been, and will ever be, true of all 
Gk)d's dealings. According to His infinite wisdom, judg- 
ment (which is His *' strange" work) only serves to pre- 
pare the way for greater manifestations of His redeeming 
love. God's judgment upon Israel resulted in the enriching 
of the Gentiles. The outpouring of Divine wrath in the 
Tribulation period will be but the precursor of Millennial 
blessedness. And, we may add, the judgment of the great 
white throne will be followed by the new heaven and new 
earth wherein righteousness shall ''dwell" and upon which 
the tabernacle of Gk>d shall be with men. Thus it was of 
old. The overthrow of Babel and the scattering of the na- 
tions was followed by the call of Abraham to be the father 
of a divinely governed nation which was to be a witness for 
Qodj the depository of His revelation, and ultimately, the 
channel through which His blessing should flow to all the 
families of the earth. 

The lesson to be learned here is a deeply important one. 
The connection between Gknesis eleven and twelve is highly 
significant. The Lord God determined to have a people of 
His own by the calling of grace, but it was not until all the 
claims of the natural man had been repudiated by his own 
wickedness that Divine clemency was free to flow forth. In 
other words, it was not until the utter depravity of man 

140 Gleanings in Genesis 

had been fully demonstrated by the antediluvians, and 
again at Babel, that God dealt with Abram in sovereign 
grace. That it was grace and grace alone, sovereign grace, 
which called Abram is seen in his natural state when Ood 
first appeared to him. There was nothing whatever in the 
object of His choice which commended him to Ood. There 
was nothing whatever in Abram which merited Ood's es- 
teem. The cause of election must always be traced to God 's 
will. Election itself is *'o/ grace'' (Rom. 11: 5), therefore 
it depends in no wise upon any worthiness in the object — 
either actual or foreseen. If it did, it would not he ^'of 
grace." That it was not a question of worthiness in Abram 
is clear from the language of Isaiah 51 : 1, 2 — ^ ' Hearken to 
me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the 
Lord : look unto the rock whence ye are hewn and to the 
hole of the pit whence ye are digged. LOOK TIN TO ABBA- 
HAM your f other , and unto Sarah that bare you. ' ' While 
God's dealings are never arbitrary, yet their raison d'etre 
must ever be found in His own sovereign pleasure. 

^ ' Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy 
country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house 
unto a land that I will show thee" (Gen. 12:1). As we 
have seen from Acts 7 : 3 this call from God came to Abram 
at his home in Mesopotamia. It was a call which demanded 
absolute confidence in and obedience to the word of Jehovah. 
It was a call of separation from the ties of the natural man. 
This is a marked advance upon that which we studied in 
connection with our previous patriarch. The connection 
between the histories and experiences of Noah and Abraham 
is most instructive. Noah passing through the judgment of 
the old world and coming forth upon a new earth, repre- 
sents the acceptance of the believer in Christ, with a new 
standing ground before God. Abram called upon to sep- 
arate himself from his home and kindred and bidden to go 
out into a place which afterwards God would give him for 
an inheritance, typifies the one whose citizenship is in 
heaven but who is still in the world, and in consequence, 
called upon to walk by faith and live as a stranger and pil- 
grim on the earth. In a word, Abram illustrates the heav- 
enly calling of those who are members of the body of Christ. 

In Abram we have exhibited the life of faith which is just 
what we shall expect, seeing that he is termed 'Hhe father 
of all them that believe." The call of Abram shows us the 

The Call of Abraham 141 

starting-point of the life of faith. The first requirement 
is separation from the world and from our place in it by 
nature. Abram was called upon to leave his ^'kindred" as 
well as his ** country/' Terah was an idolater, whereas 
Abram had become a believer in the living God, therefore it 
was expedient that Terah should be left behind for ''how 
can two walk together except they be agreed'* Even the 
closest ties of human affection cannot unite souls which are 
sundered by opposite motives, the one possessing treasure 
in heaven and the other having nought save that which 
moth and rust doth corrupt and which thieves may steaL 

In order to learn what response Abram made to God's 
call it is necessary to revert again to the previous chapter 
— ^''And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of 
Haran his son 's son and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son 
Abram 's wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of 
the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan and they came 
imto Haran and dwelt there" (Gten. 11:31). From these 
words we discover a two-fold failure on Abram 's part. 
Three things were commanded him by God ; he was to leave 
his own countiy, he was to separate himself from his kin* 
dred, and he was to go forth unto a land which Jehovah had 
promised to show him. In respect to the first requirement 
Abram obeyed, but with reference to the last two he failed. 
He left Chaldea, but instead of separating himself from his 
kindred, Terah his father and Lot his nephew accompanied 
him. Terah means *^ delay/' and thus it proved. Terah 's 
accompanying Abram resulted in a delay of at least five 
years in Haran, which word means ''parched" !• Abram 'a 
response to God's call then, was partial and slow, 
for observe that in Isaiah 51 : 2 we are expressly told that 
God called Abram "alone," yet in the end he "obeyed." 
How beautiful it is to note that when we come to the New 
Testament Abram 's failure is not mentioned — ^"By faith 
Abram, when he was called to go out into a place which he 
should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went 
out, not knowing whither he went" (Heb. 11 : 8), his obedi- 
ence in leaving Ur is thus singled out, but no notice is here 
taken by the Holy Spirit of his disobedience in taking his 
"kindred" with him — ^that sin, with all of his others, had 
been "blotted out"! 

^Haran was the point at which caraTans for Canaan left the Euphrates 
to strike acroM the detert. 

142 Gleanings in Genesis 

*^Qet thee out'' was Jehovah's command, and His com- 
mands are not grievous. The Lord's commands are rarely 
accompanied with rectsons but they are always accompanied 
with promises, either ezprest or understood. So it was in 
Abram's case. Said the Lord: ''And I will make of thee 
a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name 
great; and thou shalt be a blessing" (Oen. 12: 2). In the 
first place it is to be observed, however, that this promise 
was couched in very general terms and in a manner calcu- 
lated to test Abram's faith. ''Oct thee out unto a 

land/' not unto a land flowing with milk and honey. ' ' And 
again, ' ' unto a land that I will show thee ' ' as yet there was 
no assurance that God was going to give it to him and his 
seed. In the second place it is to be noted that the promise 
corresponds closely with the commxind. The command in- 
cluded a threefold requirement and the promise embraced 
a threefold blessing." *^And I tuUl make of thee a great 
nation/' this was compensation for the loss of country. 
The nation from which he sprang had fallen into gross idol- 
atry and ultimately perished beneath Ood's judgments; 
but from Abram Qod would make a great nation." "And 
I mil bless thee/' the blessing of Jehovah would more than 
make up for any loss of carnal joys he would lose by leaving 
his ''kindred." ^^And make thy name great." He was to 
leave his father's house, but Ood would make of him the 
head of a new house, even the house of Israel, on account of 
which he would be known and venerated the world over. 
In the third place, it should be pointed out that this promise 
included within its scope the call and blessing of the Qen- 
tiles. Abram's response to Ood's demand was to be the 
first link in a series of Divine interpositions by which God's 
mercy might be extended to the whole earth. ^^And thou 
shalt be a blessing." Abraham was not merely the subject 
of Divine blessing, but a medium of blessing to others. 
'^And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that 
curseth thee. ' ' Here we see Jehovah identifying the cause 
of Abram with His own. **And in thee shall all families of 
the earth be blessed." This part of the promise received a 
partial fulfillment in the birth of Him who was according 
to the flesh, "the son of Abraham" (Matt. 1:1), but its 
complete and ultimate fulfilment looks forward to the Mil- 
lennium, for then it will be that all families of the earth 
shall receive blessing through Abram and his seed. 

The Call of Abraham 14S 

' ' So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him ; 
and Lot went with him ; and Abram was seventy and five 
years old when he departed out of Haran" (Gen. 12:4). 
As we have seen, instead of journeying unto Canaan, Abram 
tarried at Haran. It was not until after Terah 's death that 
Abram left Haran and came into Canaan. It was death 
which broke the link which bound Abram to Haran — * ' Then 
came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in 
Charran (Greek for *' Haran'') and from thence, when his 
father was dead he removed him into this land, wherein ye 
now dwell" (Acts 7:4). So it is with all his spiritual 
children. It is death which separates the believer from that 
which by nature unites him with the old creation — ^^'But 
Gk)d forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I 
unto the world* ^ (Gal. 6: 14). 

'^ And they went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and 
into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed 
through the land unto the place of Sichem, and unto the 
place (oak) of Moreh*' (Gen. 12:5, 6). Abram did not 
enter into occupation of Canaan, he merely ' ' passed through 
the land." As we read in Acts 7 : 5 — ''He (God) gave him 
none inheritance in it, not so much as to set his foot on: 
Yet He promised that He would give it to him for a pos- 
session and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no 
child." Abram first halted at Sichem (Shecham) which 
signifies ''shoulder" — ^the place of strength, imto the oak 
of Moreh which means "instruction." How significant! 
What a lesson for us I It is only as we separate ourselves 
from the world and walk in the path marked out for us by 
God that we reach the place where strength is to be found, 
and, it is only thus that we can enter into fellowship with 
and learn from Him in whom are hid all the treasures of 
wisdom and knowledge. "And the Canaanite was then in 
the land" (v. 6) — ^to challenge and contest the occupation 
of it, just as the hosts of wickedness are in present occu- 
pancy of the heavenlies to wrestle with those who are par- 
takers of the heavenly calling. 

"And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said. Unto thy 
seed will I give this land, and there builded he an altar unto 
the Lord, who appeared unto him" (Gten. 12: 7). There is 
no record of Abram receiving any further revelation from 
€k>d until His call had been fully obeyed, but now that he 

144 Gleanings in Genesis 

had left Ur and Haran behind him and had actually ar- 
rived in the land, Jehovah appeared once more unto him. 
At the first appearing Ood called him to go unto a land 
that He would show him, and now He rewards Abram's 
faith and obedience by promising to give this land unto his 
seed. Thus does the Lord lead His children step by step. 
At the first appearing the Ood of Glory called upon Abram 
to separate himself from his place by nature; but at this 
second appearing He reveals Himself to Abram for com- 
munion, and the result is that Abram erects an altar. There 
was no ' ' altar ' ' for Abram in Ur or Haran. It is not until 
there is real separation from the world that fellowship with 
Qod is possible. First the obedience of faith and then 
communion and worship. 

^'And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the 
east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the 
west, and Hai on the east : and there he builded an altar 
unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord'' 
(Gen. 12: 8). How significant! Bethel means ''the house 
of God ' ' while Hai signifies ' ' a heap of ruin, ' ' and it was 
between them that Abram pitched his tent — ^typical of the 
sphere of the believer 's present path, with the old creation 
(a ruin) on the one side and the house of Qod (on high) on 
•ttie other. Observe the two objects here: ''tent'* and the 
''altar'' — symbols of that which characterizes a walk in 
separation with Ood, the one speaking of the pilgrim life 
and the other of dependency upon and worship of Ood. 
Note, too, the order of mention : we must first be strangers 
and pilgrims on the earth before acceptable worship is pos- 

And now we come to the second failure of Abram, namely, 
his leaving Canaan and going down into Egypt. Concern- 
ing this incident we can here say only a few words. First 
it is to be noted that, "Abram journeyed, going on still 
toward the south'* (v. 9). This geographical reference is 
deeply significant : southward was Egyptward ! When the 
"famine" overtook Abram his face was already toward 

' ' And there was a famine m the land : and Abram went 
down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was 
grievous in the land" (v. 10). This is the first mention in 
Scripture of Egypt, and like all its subsequent references, 
so here, it stands for that which is a constant menace to the 

The Call of Abraham 145 

people of Ood symbolizing, as it does, alliance with the 
world and reliance upon the arm of flesh — ^^Woe to them 
that go down to Egypt for help and stay on horses, and 
trust in chariots, because they are many ; and in horsemen, 
because they are very strong; but they look not unto the 
Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!^' (Isa. 31: 1). 

The famine was sent as a trial of Abram's faith. A 
famine in the Land of Promise. What a test of faith! 
*'God would see whether he had such confidence in His 
goodness that even famine could not shake it. Alas, Abram 
did as we are all prone to do, he sought relief from all his 
difficulties, rather than profit by the triaP^ (Ridout). Ob- 
serve that when this famine came there was no seeking 
counsel from the Lord. Abram was prompted by the wis- 
dom of the flesh which ever suggests relief in means and 
human help, in fact, anything rather than in the living 
God. 0, the inconsistencies of God^s children! Faith in 
God with regard to our eternal interest, but afraid to con- 
fide in Him for the supply of our temporal needs. Here 
was a man who had journeyed all the way from Chaldea to 
Canaan on the bare word of Jehovah and yet was now 
afraid to trust Him in the time of famine. Sad that it 
should be so, but how like us today ! 

One sin leads to another. Failure in our love to God al- 
ways results in failure in our love to our neighbor. Down 
in Egypt Abram practices deception and denies that Sarai 
is his wife, thus endangering the honor of the one who was 
nearest and should have been dearest to him. Alas ! What 
is man f But Jehovah would not allow His purposes to be 
frustrated — ^''If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: 
He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2: 13). So it was here. 
The Lord interposed — ^''And the Lord plagued Pharaoh 
and his house with great plagues hecatise of Sarai, Abram 'a 
wife^' (v. 17). The sequel is found in the next chapter — 
*'And Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife, and 

all that he had and he went on his journeys from the 

south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had 
been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; unto the 
place of the altar, which he had made there at the first, and 
there Abram called on the name of the Lord'* (Gten. 13: 1, 
3, 4) . He returned to the very place he had left. He re- 
pented and '*did the first works.'' Abram 's sojourn in 
Egypt was so much lost time. 

146 Gleanings in Genesis 

We cannot close this paper without first seeking to gather 
up in a few words the practical and deeply important les- 
sons here recorded for our learning. 1. The call which 
came to Abram comes to each one of his believing children 
— ^the call for absolute confidence in Ood ; the call to take 
Him at His word and step out in simple and unquestioning 
faith; the call to separate ourselves from the world to a 
life of pilgrimage in dependency upon Jehovah. 2. The 
trial of Abram 's faith is also the lot of all his children. 
Profession must be tested and at times the meal in the barrel 
will run very low. The failure of Abram is a solemn warning 
against being occupied with circumstances instead of with 
Gk)d. Look not at the famine but unto God 's faithfulness. 
3. Beware of going down to Egypt. The friendship of the 
world is enmity with Gk)d. Time spent in Egypt is wasted. 
Days lived out of communion with God produce nought 
but **wood, hay and stubble. *' 4. As you see in the failures 
of Abram the sad record of your own history, marvel anew 
at the long sufferance of God which deals in such infinite 
patience and grace with His erring and ungrateful children. 


Genesis 13 

In our last article we followed Abraham from Ur of Chal- 
dea to Haran, and from Haran to Canaan. We saw that 
after he had arrived in the land to which God called him, 
a famine arose, and his faith failing him in the hour of 
crisis, Abraham, accompanied by Lot, sought refuge in 
Egypt. Our present study reveals some of the results of 
the patriarch's backsliding. While Ood, in faithfulness 
and grace, restored His wandering child, yet the effects of 
his departure from the path of faith were manifested soon 
afterwards and continued to harass him the remainder of 
his days. The principle of sowing and reaping is of uni- 
versal application and is true of believers equally as much 
as unbelievers. Two things Abraham obtained from his 
sojourn in Egypt, each of which proved a hindrance and 
curse, though in the end both were overruled by God for His 
own gloiy. We refer to them here in the inverse order of 
their mention in Genesis. 

"And Sara, Abram's wife, took Hagar her maid, the 
Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of 
Canaan, and gave her to her husband, Abram, to be his 
wife'* (Gen. 16:3). During their stay in Egypt, Sarah 
took unto her the maid, Hagar. The strife, the jealousy, 
the trouble which Hagar introduced into the patriarch's 
household is well known, the climax of it all being seen in 
Ishmael ( Hagar 's son) "mocking Isaac" (Gen. 21:9) and 
his subsequent expulsion from Abram 's tent. 

The second thing which Abraham seems to have obtained 
in Egypt was great earthly possessions — ^ * And Abram went 
up out of Egypt, he, and his wife and all that he had, and 
Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich 
in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Gen. 13: 1, 2). This is 
the first time we read of Abram 's * ' cattle, ' ' and it is deeply 
significant that shortly afterwards these very flocks and 
herds became the occasion of strife between him and his 
nephew. It also deserves to be noticed that this is the first 
mention of "riches" in Scripture, and, as now, so then, 
they pierced their possessor through with "many sorrows" 
(1 Tim. 6:10). 


148 Gleanings in Genesis 


And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and 
herds, and tents" (Gten. 13: 5). Till now we hear nothing 
of Lot since he left Haran, but he appears to have been one 
of Abram 's family and to have gone with him wherever he 
went. The characters and careers of Abram and Lot pre- 
sent a series of sharp antitheses. Throughout the biograph- 
ical portions of Scripture we find the Holy Spirit frequently 
brings together two men of widely different character and 
placing them in juxtaposition so that we might the better 
learn the salutary lessons He would teach us. Abel and 
Cain, Moses and Aaron, Samuel and Saul, David and Sol- 
omon, are well known examples of this principle. In almost 
every respect Lot compares unfavorably with AbranL 
Abram walked by faith, Lot by sight. Abram was generous 
and magnanimous ; Lot greedy and worldly. Abram looked 
for a city whose builder and maker was Qod ; Lot made his 
home in a city that was built by man and destroyed by Qod. 
Abram was the father of all who believe ; Lot was father of 
those whose name is a perpetual infamy. Abram was made 
*'heir of the world '^ (Bom. 4:3), while the curtain falls 
upon Lot with all his possessions destroyed in Sodom, and 
himself dwelling in a "cave'* (Gten. 19: 30). 

The history of Lot is a peculiarly tragic one and for that 
reason full of ^'admonition'' for us upon whom the ends 
of the ages have come. We attempt nothing more than a 
rapid sketch of it, considering : 
1. Lot's Departure from Ahram. 

This is described in Genesis 13 : ^^ And the land was not 
able to bear them, that they might dwell together, for their 
substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. 
And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram 's 
cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle" (vs. 6 and 7) . How 
often '^ strife" between kinsmen has been brought about by 
earthly possessions and wealth ! The record is very terse, 
but there can be little doubt as to who was to blame. The 
subsequent conduct of Lot and the Lord's rewarding of 
Abram indicate plainly that it was Lot who was in the 
wrong. Nor is the cause far to seek. Lot had brought with 
him out of Egypt something else besides ''herds and flocks" 
— ^he had contracted its spirit and acquired a taste for its 

' ' And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray 
thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and 

Abraham and Lot 149 

ihy herdmen ; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land 
before theef Separate thyself , I pray thee, from me. If 
thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right ; or, 
if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left ' ' 
(vs. 8y 9). Abram foresaw there was danger of a falling 
out between himself and his nephew, that what had begun 
with the servants would probably end with the masters. 
Deprecating the thought of friction between brethren, he 
proposed that they should separate. The wisdom which is 
from above is first pure and then peaceable. In spirit, 
Abram carried out the letter of the Divine admonition: 
*'As much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." 

The proposal made by Abram to his nephew was exceed- 
ingly generous, and in his greed, Lot took full advantage 
of it. Instead of leaving the choice to Abram, we read; 
''And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of 
Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the 
Lord destroyed Sodom and Qomorrah, even as the garden 
of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto 
Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and 
Lot journeyed east, and they separated themselves the one 
from the other'* (vs. 10, 11). Observe, that Lot ^^ Lifted 
up his eyes and beheld,^' In other words, he preferred to 
walk by sight, rather than by faith. How impossible then 
for Lot to remain with Abram ! How can two walk together 
except they be agreed f Abram ''endured as seeing him 
who is invisible, ' ' while Lot 's heart was set upon the things 
of time and sense. Hence, we are told, "they could not 
dwell together" (v. 6) — it was a m4)ral impossibility. 

Lot ' ' lifted up his eyes. ' ' This was the commencement, 
outwardly, at least, of a decline which ended in the utmost 
shame. Eye-gate is one of the avenues through which 
temptations assail the soul: "For all that is in the world, 
the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride 
of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 
2: 16). Walking by sight is the cause of most of our fail- 
ures and sorrows. So it was at the beginning : ' ' And when 
the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it 
was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make 
one wise, she took of the fruit thereof (Gten. 3:6). Mark, 
too, the confession of Achan: "When I saw among the 
spoils a goodly Babylonish garment and two hundred 
shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weighti 

150 Gleanings in Genesis 

then I coveted them and took them*' ( Joshna 7 : 21). How 
significant the order here — I saw, I coveted, I took I So it 
was with Lot: first he lifted up his eyes and beheld, and 
then he ''chose him/' How significant are the closing 
words of Gtenesis 13 : 10 : ' ' And Lot lifted up his eyes, and 
beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered 
every where ••.. Even as the garden of the Lord, like the 
land of Egypt /^ which shows us that Lot was still attached 
to ''Egypt'' in heart. But how true it is that "the Lord 
seeth not as man seeth" (1 Sam. 16:7) ! To the worldly 
eye of Lot all the plain appeared ' ' well watered and as the 
garden of the Lord," but to the holy eye of Jehovah the 
cities of the plain were peopled by those who were * ' wicked 
and sinners before the Lord exceedingly" (v. 13) ; "before 
the Lord, ' ' shows us what it was that His eyes dwelt upon. 
We consider next, 
2. Lot 's Sojourn in Sodom 

"Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot 
journeyed eastward : and they separated themselves the one 
from the other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and 
Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent to- 
ward Sodom" (vs. 11, 12). The various steps in the down- 
ward course of Lot are plainly marked out. First, he 
"lifted up his eyes and beheld." Second, he "chose him 
all the plain of Jordan." Third, he "separated" himself 
from Abram. Fourth, he "dwelt in the cities of the plain." 
Fifth, he "pitched his tent toward Sodom." Sixth, he 
"dwelt in Sodom" (14: 12). Finally, we see him an alder- 
man of Sodom, seated in its "gate" (19 : 1) and his daugh- 
ters wedded to men of Sodom. Behold how great a fire a 
little matter kindleth. From a lifting up of the eyes to 
behold the land and seek pasturage for his flocks, to be- 
coming an official in the city of wickedness ! Like lepro^, 
sin has often a seemingly small beginning, but how rapid 
its spread, how loathsome its issue, how dreadful its end! 
Similar was the course of the Apostle Peter : the denial of 
his Lord was no sudden, isolated act, but the sequel and 
climax of an antecedent chain. There was first the boasting 
self-confidence, ' ' Though all shall be offended, yet will not 
I" (Mark 14: 29). Then there was the "sleeping" in the 
garden when he should have been watching and praying 
(Mark 14 : 37) . Then there was the following Christ ' ' afar 
off" (Matt. 26 : 58) . Then there was the seating of himself 

Abraham and Lot 151 

at the fire in the presence of his Lord's enemies (Matt. 26: 
69). And then, amid these evil associates, came the awful 
denial and cursing. 

And what did Lot gain by his separation from Abram 
and sojourn in Sodom f Nothing at all. Instead of gain- 
ingy he was the loser. The men of Sodom were ^ ' wicked and 
sinners before the Lord exceedingly" and Lot was ^* vexed 
with the filthy conversation of the wicked. For that right- 
eous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, 
vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlaw- 
ful deeds'* (2 Pet, 2 : 7, 8). Consider now, 
3. Lot's Deliverance from Sodom 

In the first place notice how, in His faithfulness and 
grace, God had given Lot a veiy definite warning. From 
Genesis 14 we learn that in the battle between the four 
kings with the five, * ' they took all the goods of Sodom and 
Gk)morrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And 
they took Lot, Abram 's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom^ 
and his goods, and departed" (vs. 11, 12). Tet though 
Lot lost all his goods and seems to have been in imminent 
danger of losing his life but for the timely intervention of 
Abram with his armed servants, nevertheless, this experi- 
ence failed to teach Lot the evil of being associated with the 
world, but he recovered his freedom and his property only 
to return unto Sodom. Alas! what is manf Even God's 
providential dealings are insufiicient to move his heart. 

The contents of Genesis 18 and 19 are so familiar to our 
readers that no lengthy exposition is needed. The Lord 
Himself makes known to His * ^ friend ' ' what He is about to 
do; but no such revelation was vouchsafed Lot who was 
altogether out of communion with Jehovah. The '^secret of 
the Lord" is only with them that *'fear Him." The two 
angels who accompanied the Lord to Abram 's tent, go for- 
ward to Sodom, the Lord Himself remaining behind, and 
with Him Abram intercedes on behalf of the righteous who 
may be in the doomed city. 

The two angels found Lot sitting in the gate of Sodom 
and in response to his request that they partake of his hos- 
pitality, said, *'Nay, but we will abide in the street all 
night." Their reluctance to enter Lot's dwelling — ^in 
marked contrast with their fellowship with Abram — ^inti- 
mates the condition of Lot's soul. Observe, too, that it was 
*'in the heat of the day" ((Jen. 18:1) that they visited 

152 Gleanings in Genesis 

Abram; whereas, it was **even" (19:1) when they ap- 
peared to his nephew. The utter meanness and selfishness 
of Lot's character was quickly exhibited in the contempti- 
ble proposal to sacrifice his daughters to the men of Sodom 
in order to secure his own preservation and peace (19:8). 
The powerlessness of his testimony appeared in the response 
made by his '* sons-in-law" when he warned them that the 
Lord was about to destroy the city — ^**he seemed as one that 
mocked'' (19: 14) ; his words had now no weight because 
of his previous ways. The words ^* while he linger edj the 
men (the angels) laid hold upon his hand'' (19: 16) show 
plainly where his heart was. The summary judgment which 
overtook his wife and the fearful crime of his daughters 
was a terrible harvest from his sowing to the flesh. 

The deliverance of Lot was a remarkable instance of 
God 's care for His own. Lot was living far below his priv- 
ileges, and manifestly was out of communion with the Lord, 
yet he was a "righteous man" (2 Pet. 2:7, 8) and there- 
fore was he snatched as a brand from the burning. Blessed 
be His name, ' ' He abideth faithful ; He cannot deny Him- 
self" (2 Tim. 2: 13). Just as a shelter was provided for 
Noah, just as Israel was protected from the avenging angel, 
so with Lot. Said the angel to him, * * I cannot do anything 
till thou be come thither" (Gen. 19: 22). 

We cannot leave this section without noticing the obvious 
connection between Lot's deliverance from Sodom and 
Abram 's intercession for him. The particular word em- 
ployed by Abram in his supplications was deeply signifi- 
cant. Said he, * ' Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with 
the wicked?" ((Jen. 18:23, and compare vs. 24, 25, 26, 
28), which is the very word which the Holy Spirit employs 
in 2 Peter 2:8! May we not also see in Abram here a type 
of our blessed Lord f Lot was delivered from the kings by 
Abram 's sword and from God's judgment upon Sodom by 
Abram 's supplications. And are not these the instruments 
(if we may so speak) employed by our Saviour! He de- 
livers His own from the (defilements of) the world by the 
Word — the sword — see John 13, and when they sin He acts 
as their Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). 

It only remains for us now to point out a few of the lead- 
ing lessons brought out in Genesis 13 and 19. Let us notice : 

Abraham and Lot 153 

1. The Certain Accomplishment of Ood's Purpose. 

Mysterious are the ways of Him with whom we have to 
do. The * 'strife'^ which God permitted to arise between 
the herdmen of Abram and Lot was designed for the carry- 
ing out of His own counsel. The declared purpose of Qod 
was to separate Abram from the land of his birth and from 
his own kinsmen, in order to educate him and his in the 
knowledge and obedience of Jehovah. Ood called Abram 
*' alone'* (Isa. 51 : 2), yet at least two of his relatives accom- 
panied him when he left Ur of the Chaldees. But, in the 
end, Ood's purpose was realized. Terah, Abram 's father, 
died at Haran. Lot accompanied him into the land of Ca- 
naan, but it is obvious that a worldly spirit like his, together 
with his own separate and large encampment imbued, no 
doubt, with the spirit of its chief and over which it would 
be difficult if not impossible for Abram to exercise author- 
ity, could not help forward the Divine purpose. In the 
separation of Lot from Abram, then, we see the departure 
of the last of his kinsfolk, and now Abram is left '^ alone'' 
with God! Verily, ** There are many devices in a man's 
heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord that shall 
siand'* (Prov. 19 : 21). Let us consider, 

2. The Magnanimity of Ahram. 

The proposal which Abram made to his nephew was ex- 
ceedingly gracious and beautifuL Abram was the senior, 
and the one to whom Qod had promised to give the land 
(Gen. 12:7), yet, he generously waived his rights, and 
with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering,'' he 
forebore with Lot in love. Note carefully his words, *'I8 
not the whole land before thee'* (13 : 9). Gladly did Abram 
surrender every claim and forego every right to put a stop 
to this strife between ** brethren." 

In the waiving of his rights Abram foreshadowed that 
One who was made, according to the flesh, ^Hhe son of 
Abraham" (Matt. 1:1). He who was in the form of God 
and thought it not robbery to be equal with God voluntarily 
waived His rights and took upon Him the form of a serv- 
ant. All power in heaven and earth was His, yet He suf- 
fered Himself to be led as a lamb to the slaughter, and 
though He had the right to summon twelve legions of angels 
to come and do His bidding. He waived it and refused to 
give the command. Though He did no sin, had no sin, was 


154 Gleanings in Genesis 

without sin, and as such death had no claim upon Him, yet 
was He ^ ^ made sin for us " and became obedient unto death, 
even the death of the cross. Yes, He ''waived His rights'' 
and He has left us an example that we should follow His 

3, The Warnings Pointed hy LoVs Failures. 

We mention three without dwelling upon them at any 

First, his choice of residence. Surely this needed lesson 
is writ large across the story of Lot's life. He preferred 
the *' well-watered" plains above Abram's ** altar." He 
regarded temporal advantages only, and had no regard for 
his spiritual welfare. Alas ! how many believers are there 
now who, when seeking ar location for themselves and fam- 
ily follow his evil example. Seek ye first the kingdom of 
Gk)d and His righteousness ought to regulate our every deci- 

Second, his yielding to the spirit of worldliness. Lot 
seems to be a type of that class of Christians who aim to 
make the best of both worlds, who are really occupied more 
with the things of earth than the things of heaven. Lot 
was a man who sowed to the flesh, and of the flesh he reaped 
corruption. Temporal prosperity was what he sought, but 
in the end he lost even his worldly possessions. His life 
on earth was a wretched failure, made up entirely of 
*'wood, hay, stubble." There was no witnessing for God 
and no blessing of Ood upon his family. Lot is a concrete 
warning, a danger signal, for all Christians who feel a 
tendency to be carried away by the things of the world. 

Third, his miserable end. Wretched, indeed, must have 
been the closing days of Lot— cowering in a cave, stript of 
aU his earthly possessions, his sons-in-law destroyed in 
Sodom, his wife turned to a pillar of salt, and he left face 
to face with the fruit of his own awful sin. 


Genesis 14 

Onr last chapter was concerned with Abraham and Lot. 
We touched upon the first part of Genesis 13, which records 
the strife that came between their herdmen, the prompt 
measures taken by the patriarch to put an end to the fric- 
tion, the generous offer which he made his nephew, and 
Lot's leaving Abram and journeying to Sodom. In this 
present paper we continue our study of the career of the 
father of all that believe, resuming at the point where we 
left him in our last. 

'^And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was sep* 
arated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the 
place where thou art northward, and southward, and east- 
ward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, 
to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will 
make thy seed as the dust of the earth : so that if a man 
can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also 
be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length 
of it and in the breadth of it ; for I will give it unto thee ' ' 
{Qen. 13:14-17). Abraham was now alone, and yet not 
alone, for the Lord was with him and gracious was the 
revelation that He made of Himself. It was with a true 
concern for God's glory that Abram had suggested Lot's 
separating from him. '* There was a strife between the 
herdmen of Abram 's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle : 
and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt then in the 
land'' (v. 7). Abram could not endure the thought of 
'* strife" between brethren in the presence of the Lord's 
enemies — ^would that God's children today were equally re- 
luctant to bring reproach upon the holy name they bear. 

God did not allow His child to lose by his magnanimous 
offer to Lot, made, as we have said, out of consideration for 
(Jod's glory. To Lot Abram had said, "Is not the whole 
land before thee f Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me : 
if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right 
hand ; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to 
the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the 
plain of Jordan," etc. (vs. 9, 10) ; and now Jehovah ap- 


156 Gleanings in Genesis 

pears to Abram and says, ^^Lift up now thine eyes and 
look" (v. 14). 0, what a contrast! Lot ''lifted up his 
eyes" at the dictate of worldly interests; Abram lifted up 
his to behold the gift of Gtod. Thus does our ever faithful 
Gk>d delight to honor those who honor Him. The student 
will note there are three passages in Genesis where it is said 
that Abram ''lifted up his eyes." First, here in 13:14, 
when he beheld "the land''; second, in 18: 2, when he be- 
held "three men," one of whom was the Lord Himself; 
third, in 22:13, when he beheld the substitute — ^"a ram 
caught in a thicket." 

Above we have said that Abram was now alone. At last 
the purpose of God is realized. God "called him alone" 
(Isa. 51:2). He had said "Get thee out of thy country, 
and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall 
shew thee" (Acts 7:3), but to this command Abram had 
rendered but a tardy and partial obedience. Both his fa- 
ther and nephew accompanied him as he left Chaldea, and 
instead of journeying straight to Canaan, he stopped short 
at Haran where he "dwelt" until the death of Terah (11: 
31, 32). Yet even now the Divine command was not fully 
obeyed — ^into the land of God's call Abram came. Lot still 
with him. But now, at the point we have reached. Lot has 
taken his departure and Abram (with Sarai) is left alone 
with God. And is it not deeply significant that not untU 
now did the Lord say, "For all the land which thou seest, 
to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever" (v. 15) ; 
Observe carefully the ascending scale in God's promises to 
Abram. In Chaldea Gkxl promised to "shew" Abram the 
land {Qten. 12:1). Then, when Abram had actually en- 
tered it and arrived at Sichem the Lord promised to "give" 
the land unto his seed — ^"And the Lord appeared unto 
Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land (12: 
7). But now — ^now that he is at last separated from the 
U^t of his ^^ kindred'' — ^God promises to give "all the land" 
unto Abram himself. Furthermore, it is to be noted that 
not until now does God say to Abram, "Arise, walk through 
the Utnd in the length of it, and in the breadth of it" (v. 
17), which intimated that God would have Abram appro- 
priate His gift. Abram was to "feel at home" in the land 
as though the title deeds of it were already in his hands. 
Do we not discover in all this a striking illustration of an 
all important principle in Qcd 's dealings with His own peo* 

Abraham and Melchizedek 157 

pie. How often our unbelief limits the outflow of Divine 
grace! An imperfect and circumscribed obedience pre- 
vents our enjoying much that Qod has for us. As a further 
illustration compare and contrast Caleb and the inheritance 
which he obtained for * 'following the Lord fully^' (Num. 

In the words ' * Arise, walk through the land in the length 
of it and in the breadth of if (v. 17) another important 
truth is suggested — appropriation. It was as though God 
had said to Abram, I have called you into this land, I have 
given it to you and your seed, now enjoy it. He was to 
travel through it, to look upon it as sJready hia — ^his by 
faith^ for he had God's word for it. As another has said, 
^ ' He was to act towards it as if he were already in absolute 
possession. ' ' And is not this what God invites His people 
to do today f We, too, have received a call to separate our- 
selves from the world. We, too, have been begotten unto an 
inheritance, an inheritance which is ' ' incorruptible, and un- 
defiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven. '' 
And now we, too, are bidden tc ' ' walk through the land in 
the length of it and in the breadth of it. ' ' In other words, 
we are called to the exercise of faith; to look not at the 
things that are seen, but at the things which are unseen; 
to set our affection upon things above, and not upon things 
below. In brief, we are to make our own, to appropriate 
and enjoy the things which Gkxi has promised us. It is un- 
belief which hinders us from enjoying to the full what is 
already ours in the purpose of God. Mark that word 
through the prophet Obadiah, ' ' But upon Mount Zion shall 
be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house 
of Jacob shall possess their possessions'' (v. 17). In the 
Millennium Israel will fully ''possess their possessions." 
We say ' ' fully possess ' ' for they have never done so in the 
past. And why? Because of unbelief. Then let us fear, 
lest there be in us also an evil heart of unbelief. 

"Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in 
the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an 
altar unto the Lord" (13:18). The connection between 
this statement and the immediate context is also full of in- 
struction. ' ' Mamre ' ' signifies fatness and ' ' Hebron ' ' means 
fellowship. Notice the opening word *Uhen'': it was not 
until Lot had left him and Abram was fully in the will of 
the Lord that Hebron — fellowship — ^is now mentioned for 

158 Gleanings in Genesis 

the first time I It is disobedience that hinders full fellow- 
ship with Jehovah. And, note, too, that Abram ''built 
there an altar unto the Lord.'' Fellowship resulted in 
worship ! This is ever the order : obedience, fatness of soul, 
fellowship, worship. Confirmatory of these remarks, is it 
not significant that this very ''Hebron'' became the in- 
heritance and portion of Caleb who "followed the Lord 
fuUyJ — ' ' Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb 
the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day ; because 
that he wholly followed the Lord Gtod of Israel'^ (Josh. 

Genesis 14 opens with a brief account of the first war 
mentioned in Scripture. It would be beside our purpose to 
pause and examine in detail what is here recorded of the 
four and five kings,* our present purpose is to note Abram 's 
connection and dealings with them. The outcome of the 
confiict was the capture of Lot and his possessions (v. 12). 
As another has said, ' ' He had laid up treasures for himself 
on earth, and the thieves had broken through." One who 
had escaped brought intelligence to Abram that his nephew 
had been captured. 

It is beautiful to observe the effect of this intelligence 
upon our patriarch. Abram was not indifferent to his 
nephew's well-being. There was no root of bitterness in 
him. There was no callous, "Well, this is none of my 
doing: he must reap what he has sown." Promptly he 
goes to the aid of the one in distress. But note it was not 
in the energy of the flesh that he acted. It was no mere tie 
of nature that prompted Abram here — ^"When Abram 
heard that his brother (not his 'nephew') was taken cap- 
tive. ' ' A brother — a spiritual brother — ^was in need, and so 
he "armed his trained servants, bom in his own house, 
three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan" 
(14: 14). And has this no voice for us today? Surely the 
spiritual application is obvious. How often is a "brother" 
taken captive by the enemy, and the word comes, "Ye, 
which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of 
meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted 
(Gal. 6:1). But only too often the call falls upon ears 
tiiat are dull of hearing. Only too often, our prided sep- 

^A careful study of the order of mention and the meaning of the yarlous 
proper names mentioned In Genesis 14 : 1-10 will well repay the devout 

Abraham and Melchizedek 159 

aration from evil leads to independence and indifference. 
Alas I that it should be so. How different from our blessed 
Lord, who leaves the ninety and nine and goes after the 
sheep that has strayed, and rests not until it is found and 

'*The righteous are bold as a lion'' (Prov. 28: 1). When 
the news came that Lot was a prisoner in the hands of a 
mighty warrior, Abram showed no hesitation but imme- 
diately set out in pursuit of the victorious army, and tak- 
ing the initiative was quickly successful in rescuing his 
nephew. * ^ And he divided himself against them, he and his 
servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto 
Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he 
brought back all the goods, and also brought again his 
brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the 
people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him, 
after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and of 
the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, 
which is the kings' dale" (14; 15-17). 

It is just at this point that a veiy remarkable personage is 
brought before us, namely, Melchizedek. Much has been 
said and written about him. Some have thought he was 
Shem who was a contemporaiy of Abram 's for a hundred 
years; but this cannot be, for we are distinctly informed 
concerning Melchizedek that he was ^ ' without father, with- 
out mother" (Heb. 7:3), which, as we shall see, means that 
Scripture is absolutely silent concerning his genealogy. 
This then disposes of the Shem theory, for we do know who 
his father was. Others have concluded that he was Christ 
Himself, but this supposition is equally unscriptural for we 
are told that Melchizedek is ''made like unto the Son of 
Gk)d ' ' and that Christ 's priesthood is ' ' after the similitude 
of Melchizedek" (Heb. 7:3, 15), which could not be said 
if Melchizedek were Christ Himself. Still others have sup- 
posed that he was some mysterious celestial being, but that 
is emphatically negatived by Hebrews 7 : 4, where Melchize- 
dek is expressly called a **man." 

Li the words **made like unto the Son of Clod" (Heb. 7 : 
3) we have the key to the mystery which centers around 
Melchizedek. Melchizedek was a type of Christ, and partic- 
ularly a type of our Lord's priesthood. There are other 
points of resemblance which we shall consider below, but 
the first point of analogy between Melchizedek and the 

160 Gleanings in Genesis 

Son of God singled out by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 7 is 
that he is ''without father, without mother, without de- 
scendant, having neither beginning of days nor end of life." 
This does not mean that Melchizedek was a supernatural, a 
divine being, but that he is presented to us in the Old Testa- 
ment as without father or mother, etc. In other words, the 
silence of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning his 
parentage has a designed significance. The entire omission 
of any reference to Melchizedek 's ancestry, birth or death, 
was ordered by the Holy Spirit (who ''moved" Moses both 
in what he inserted and what he left out of the Genesis 
narrative) in order to present a perfect type of the Lord 
Jesus. No information concerning the genealogy of Mel- 
chizedek is recorded in (Genesis, which is a book that abounds 
in genealogies. This is an instance where speech is silvern 
and silence golden. The silence was in order that there 
might be a nearer approximation between the type and the 
glorious antitype. 

Not only was Melchizedek a type of our Lord in the fact 
that he is presented to us in Oenesis as being "without 
father, without mother, ' ' but also in a number of other im- 
portant particulars. Melchizedek was a priest — ^"the priest 
of the Most High God" (Gen. 14: 18). But not only so, 
he was a king — "King of Salem" — and therefore a royal 
priest. In the person of Melchizedek the oflBces of priest 
and king were combined, and thus was he a notable type of 
our great High Priest who according to the flesh was not of 
the tribe of Levi, but of the tribe of Judah, the royal tribe 
(see Heb. 7 : 14) . Not only was Melchizedek a type of the 
royal priesthood of Christ by virtue of his oflSce as King 
of Salem (which means "peace") but his name also had a 
typical significance. "Melchizedek" means "king of right- 
eousness." Here again there is a wonderful and blessed 
bringing together of things which out of Christ are di- 
vorced. Not only did Melchizedek combine in his person 
the offices of king and priest, but in his titles he united 
righteousness and peace. Melchizedek was both king of 
righteousness and king of peace and thus did he foreshadow 
the blessed result of the cross work of our adorable Lord, 
for it was at the Cross that ' ' mercy and truth met together, 
and righteousness and peace kissed each other' ^ (Ps. 85: 

Abraham and Melchizedek 161 

Obfierve the order of mention in Hebrews 7 : 2/^to whom 
also Abraham gave a tenth part of all ; first being by inter- 
pretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King 
of Salem, which is, King of Peace/' This is ever Qod's 
order. Qod cannot be at peace with guilty rebels until the 
claims of His throne have been met. Only upon a righteous 
basis can peace be established. ''And the work of right- 
eousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, 
quietness and assurance forever" (Isa. 32:17). This is 
unfolded at length in the Epistle to the Romans, and par* 
ticularly in 3:21-26, Qod's righteousness was ''declared'* 
at the Cross where the Lord Jesus made propitiation and 
fully satisfied every demand of the thrice holy Ood. There 
it is that the great "work of righteousness" was accom- 
plished, the effect of which is peace. As it is written, 
^* Having made peace through the blood of His Cross'' (CoL 
1: 20). The benefits of this accrue to the believer through 
fhe channel of faith, for "being justified (pronounced right- 
eous) by faith we have peace with Ood through our Lord 
Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1). The same order is found again 
m Romans 14: 17 — ^"For the Kingdom of God is not meat 
and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy, in the 
Holy Spirit." 

In Hebrews 7:4 attention is called to the greatness of 
this man Melchizedek, his "greatness" being recognized 
and acknowledged by Abraham who ' ' gave him tithes. ' ' In 
this also he is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, our ''great 
High Priest ' ' — ^the only Priest so denominated in the Scrip- 
tures. The greatness of our Lord's priesthood inheres in 
His intrinsic glory which is in contrast with the feebleness 
of the perishable priests of the Levitical order who could 
not save. Two things prominently characterized the Leviti- 
cal priests : first, they were personally unclean, and there- 
fore needed to "offer for their own sins" (Heb. 7:27); 
and second, they were mortal, and therefore death put an 
end to their ministrations. Now in contradistinction, not 
only is our great High Priest sinless, but He is made ' ' after 
the power of an endless life" (Heb. 7: 16), and hence it is 
written concerning Christ, "Thou art a priest for ever after 
the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 7:21). It is important 
to remark here that it is as risen and ascended that the Lord 
Jesus has received the eternal excellency of the Melchizedek 
title. His never-ending ministry of blessing dates its ef- 

162 Gleanings in Genesis 

fectual beginning from the finished work of the Ooss. 
Here again we note the accuracy of our type, for not only is 
the Genesis narrative silent concerning the origin of Mel- 
ehizedeky but it makes no mention of his death. 

Finally, it is to be noted that Melchizedek is termed 
•'priest of the Most High Ood'' (Gen. 14: 18), a title which 
looks beyond all national relationships. Here is the final 
contrast between the two orders of priesthood — ^the Mel- 
chizedekian and the Aaronic. Aaron's priestly ministry 
never transcended the limits of Israel, and he was ever the 
priest of Jehovah as the God of Israel. But Melchizedek 
was priest of Jehovah under His more comprehensive title 
of the Most High Ood, *^ Possessor of heaven and earth' ' 
(Gen. 14: 19), and therefore Melchizedek foreshadowed the 
millennial glory of Christ when ' ' He shall be a priest upon 
His throne'' (Zech. 6:13) and reign in righteousness and 
peace. As it is written, '^ Behold, the days come, saith the 
Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and 
a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment 
and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, 
and Israel shall dwell safely : and this is His name whereby 
He shall be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS'* 
(Jer. 23: 5, 6). Then shall the Divine Melchizedek rule as 
King of Righteousness and King of Peace. As it is written 
again, ^^His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, 
The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of 
Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there 
shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His 
Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and 
with justice (righteousness) from henceforth even for ever** 
(Isa. 9:6, 7). 

That Melchizedek foreshadowed the millennial glory of 
Christ is further to be seen from the occasion when he ap- 
peared before Abram. The typical picture is wonderfully 
complete. Melchizedek met Abram as he was returning 
from the slaughter of the kings, having rescued from them 
his nephew Lot who foreshadows the Jewish remnant in 
the tribulation period.* Then it was that Melchizedek met 
Abram and blessed him (14 : 19) . Thus it will be when our 

*Iii the federation of the kinn under Cbedorliomer we have fore- 
Bbadowed the ten klngdomed Bmpire over which the Beaet will rule, and 
surely It Is more than a coincldenoe that here we find mentioned nine kings 
—"four kings with five" (v. 9) — which with Abram and his anned senrants 
make In all ten oontesting forces I 

Abraham and Melchizedek 163 

Lord returns to usher in the Millennium. He will over- 
throw the Beast and his forces in this same '* King's dale," 
deliver Israel out of their hands and bless the descendants 
of Abraham, and just as Abram acknowledged the superior- 
ity of Melchizedek by paying him tithes, so will Israel ac- 
knowledge their Divine Melchizedek and own Him as their 
Priest and King. 

It now only remains for us to consider here the immediate 
effects upon Abram of the appearing of Melchizedek before 
him and the blessing he had received from him. ^^And the 
King of Sodom said unto Abram, give me the persons, and 
take the goods to thyself" (Gen. 14: 21). In the King of 
Sodom's offer we may discover one of the ** wiles" of the 
devil for we are not ignorant of his * * devices. ' ' The world 
is only too ready to offer God's children its subsidies so as 
to bring them under obligation to itself. But Abram was 
preeminently a man of faith and faith is * * the victory that 
overcometh the world" (1 John 5:4). 

* *' And Abram said to the King of Sodom, I have lifted up 
mine hand unto the Lord, the Most High God, the Possessor 
of heaven and earth, t That I will not take from a thread 
even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take anything that 
is thine, lest thou shouldest say I have made Abram rich. 
Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the 
portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and 
Mamre; let them take their portion" (14:22-24). What 
noble words were these I With quiet dignity our patriarch 
refuses to be dependent in anywise upon the King of Sodom 
— what a contrast was Balaam and the offer made him by 
Balak ! Abram knew that in heaven he had a ^ ' better and 
an enduring substance" (Heb. 10:34). The words, **I 
have lifted up mine hand unto the Lord" (compare Deut. 
32:40) signify a vow or solemn oath, and seem to show 
that when he started out in pursuit of Lot's captors he 
promised the Lord that if He would give him success he 
would not enrich himself by his campaign ; but it is beauti- 
ful to note that he did not forget or overlook the claims of 
those who had accompanied him and shared his perils. In 
the giving of tithes to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High 
God, Abram acknowledged God's grace in giving him the 

tThe use of this Divine title here gives the He to the wicked teaching of 
the higher critics who erroneously declare that the god of the patriarch 
and of Israel wds a tribal or tutelary god. The Qod of Abram was no mere 
local deity but "The Possessor of heavefl And «artli«" 


Genesis 15 

The connecting link between our present portion of Scrip- 
ture and the one which we took for the basis of meditation 
in our last chapter is found in the opening words of Gen- 
esis 15 — ** After these things the Word of the Lord came 
unto Abram in a vision/' Chedorlaomer, the King of 
Elam, had united his forces to those of three other kings 
in a league of conquest. Their military prowess seemed ir- 
resistible. The Bephaim, the Zuzim, the Emim, the Horites, 
the Amalekites and the Amorites were each defeated in turn 
(Oen. 14: 5-7). Five kings with their forces now combined 
and went forth to engage the armies of Chedorlaomer, but 
they also were overthrown, and in consequence the cities of 
Sodom and Gomorrah were sacked and Lot was taken 
prisoner. Then it was that Abram went forth at the head 
of his three hundred and eighteen armed servants and by a 
surprise night attack gained a signal victory. Chedorla* 
omer was slain, Lot was delivered, and the booty taken from 
Sodom and Gomorrah was recovered. 

And now came the reaction, mental and physical. Abram 
had good reason to conclude that the remaining followers 
of the powerful King of Elam would not abandon the enter- 
prise which had only been frustrated by a surprise attack 
at night — ^made by an insignificant force — ^but instead, 
would return and avenge their reverse. In defeating 
Chedorlaomer and his allies, Abram had made some bitter 
and influential foes. It was not likely that they would rest 
content until the memory of their reverse had been wiped 
out with blood. They who had been strong enough to cap- 
ture the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were too powerful to 
be set at defiance by Abram and his little colony. Thus 
alarmed and apprehensive Abram now receives a special 
word of reassurance : ^ ' After these things the Word of the 
Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Ahrantj 
I am thy shield.' ' Thus in tender grace did Jehovah quiet 
the troubled heart of the one whom He was pleased to call 
His "friend.'' 

But further. In the remaining part of this opening 
verse — ^''I am.... thy exceeding great Reward' ' — ^we have 


Abraham's Vision 165 

another word which looks back to the previous chapter; 
and a precious word it is. After Abram had defeated 
Chedorlaomer, and after he had been blessed and refreshed 
by Melchizedek, the King of Sodom offered to reward 
Abram by suggesting he take the recovered ^'goods'' unto 
himself (14:21). But he who ** looked for a city which 
hath foundations whose builder and maker is Ood'' de- 
clined to accept anything from this worldling, saying, ^'I 
have lifted up min^e hand unto the Lord, the Most High 
Gk>d, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take 
from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take 
anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, / have made 
Ahram rich'* (14: 22, 23). Noble reply I And now we be- 
hold the sequel. Ood never permits His own to lose for 
honoring Him and seeking Eis glory. Abram had refused 
the spoil of Sodom, but Ood more than makes it up to him. 
Just as when our patriarch had shown his magnanimity to 
Lot by saying : ^ ' Is not the whole land before thee .... if 
thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; 
or if thou depart to the right hand then I will go to the 
left, ' ' and the Lord appeared unto Abram and said, ' ' Lift 
up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art 
northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. 
For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and 
to thy seed forever" (13: 9, 14, 15) ; so it was here. The 
refusal to be enriched by the king of Sodom is now com- 
pensated, more than compensated by a revelation from Ood 
which would greatly increase the joy of His servant. How 
important is the principle which here receives such lovely 
exemplification! How much are the Lord's people losing 
today because of their acceptance of the world's favors! 
Unto how few can the Lord now reveal Himself as He did 
here to Abram ! 

**I am thy shield and thy exceeding great Reward.** We 
would fain tarry and extract some of the sweetness of these 
words. This is a special promise applicable to those who 
are ** strangers and pilgrims on the earth." It is Gkxi's 
word to those who "choose rather to suffer affliction with 
the people of Gk)d, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a 
season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than 
the treasures in Egypt" for they have ** respect unto the 
recompense of the reward'* (Heb. 11: 25, 26). Unto such, 
God promises to be their Shield, their Defense, the One be- 

166 Gleanings in Genesis 

hind whom faith shelters and trusts ; as well as their Re- 
ward, their exceeding great Reward. So it was with our 
blessed Lord Himself. Refusing to accept from Satan the 
kingdoms of the world and their glory, He could say, ^^The 
Lord is the portion of Mine inherittmce, and of My cup*' 
(Ps. 16:5). 

'^And Abram said, Lord Gk>d, what wilt Thou give me^ 
seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this 
Eliezer of Damascus f And Abram said, Behold, to me Thou 
hast given no seed ; and, lo, one bom in my house is mine 
heir" (vs. 2, 3). In hearing the words, ^'I am thy Shield 
and thy exceeding great Reward/' Abram 's mind seems to 
have turned toward his inheritance and the fact that he had 
no seed of his own to enter into the promises of Qod. What 
Abram longed for was a son, for he rightly judged that to 
go childless was to lose the inheritance. In other words, the 
patriarch here recognizes that heirship is based upon son- 
ship, and thus we have foreshadowed a truth of vital im« 
portance, a truth which is fully revealed in the Scriptures 
of the New Testament. There we read, ' ' The Spirit Him- 
self beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the chil- 
dren of Ood; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, 
and joint heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8: 16, 17). And again: 
' ^ Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by 
Jesus Christ to Himself. . . .in whom also we have obtain^ 
an inheritance^' (Eph. 1: 5, 11). 

We do not consider that in asking ^^ What wilt thou give 
me,'' etc., that Abram was giving expression to unbelief. 
On the contraiy we regard his words as the language of 
faith. Observe there was no rebuke given him by the Lord ; 
instead, we are told, ''And, behold, the Word of the Lord 
came unto him saying. This shall not be thine heir ; but he 
that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine 
heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said. Look 
now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to 
number them; and he said unto him. So shall thy seed be" 
(vs. 4, 5). It is to be noted that in (Genesis 13: 15 Qod 
compared Abram 's seed to the dust of the earth, but here, 
where Christ is contemplated (as well as a numerous off- 
spring), the word is, ^^Look now towUrd heaven," and his 
seed is likened to the ' ' stars. ' ' 

And now we come to those words which have been so 
precious unto multitudes : ' ' And he believed in the Lord ; 

Abraham's Vision 167 

and He counted it to him for righteousness" (v. 6} . A full 
exposition of this verse would lead us far beyond the limits 
of our present space, so we content ourselves with a few 
brief comments, referring the reader to Romans 4 for God's 
own exposition. 

Literally rendered our verse reads, ^ ' And he stayed him' 
self upon the Lord ; and He counted it to him for righteous- 
ness." At the time Ood promised Abram that his heir 
should be one who came forth from his own bowels Abram 's 
body was ''as good as dead" (Heb. 11:12), nevertheless, 
he staggered not at the promise of Gk>d through unbelief; 
but was strong in faith, giving glory to Ood; and being 
fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able 
also to perform" (Rom. 4:20, 21). Abram reasoned not 
about the natural impossibility that lay in the way of the 
realization of the promise, but believed that Gk>d would act 
just as He had said. Gk>d had spoken and that was enough. 
His own body might be dead and Sarah long past the age of 
child-bearing, nevertheless he was fully assured that Gk)d 
had power even to quicken the dead. And this faith was 
reckoned or counted unto him for righteousness ; not that 
faith is accepted by Qod in lieu of righteousness as an equiv- 
alent for righteousness, else would faith be a meritorious 
thing, but that faith is the recipient of that righteousness 
hy which we are justified. The force of the preposition is 
"unto" rather than ''instead of" — ^it was *' counted to him 
unto righteousness." Abram 's case was a representative 
one. Today justification (to be declared righteous) is by 
faith, but with this important difference that whereas 
Abram believed God would give him a son through the 
quickening of his body, we believe that God has given us 
His Son, and through His death and quickening from the 
dead a Saviour is ours through faith. 

Just here we would pause to consider what seems to have 
proven a real difiSculty to expositors and commentators. 
Was not Abram a "believer" years before the point of time 
contemplated in Gtenesis 15 : 6 f Not a few have suggested 
fhat prior to this incident Abram was in a condition similar 
to that of Cornelius before Peter preached to him. But are 
we not expressly told that it was "By faith'' (Heb. 11 : 8) 
he had left Ur of the Chaldees and went out ' ' not knowing 
whither he went"! Yet, why are we here told that "he 
believed in the Lord ; and He counted it to him for right- 

168 Gleanings in Genesis 

eousness ' ' f Surely the answer is not far to seek. It is tme 
that in the New Testament the Holy Spirit informs us that 
Abram was a believer when he left Chaldea^ but his faith is 
not there (t. e., Heb. 11:8) mentioned in connection with 
his justification. Instead, in the Epistles to the Bomans 
and Oalatians the incident which the Holy Spirit singles 
out as the occasion when Abram 's faith was counted for 
righteousness is the one in Oenesis 15 now before us. And 
why f Because in Genesis 15 Abram 's faith is directly con- 
nected with Ood's promise respecting his '^seed,'' which 
'*seed'' was Christ (see Gal. 3: 16) 1 The faith which was 
^^ counted for righteousness*^ was the faith which believed 
what Gk)d had said concerning the promised Seed. It was 
this instance of Abram 's faith which the Holy Spirit was 
pleased to select as the model for believing unto justifica- 
tion. There is no justification apart from Christ — 
^* Through this Man is preached unto you the forgive- 
ness of sins. And by Him all that believe are justified from 
all things'' (Acts 13 : 38, 39). Therefore we say it was not 
that Abram here ** believed Gk)d'' for the first time, but that 
here Gk>d was pteased to openly attest his righteousness for 
the first time, and that for the reason stated above. Though 
Christians may believe God with respect to the common 
concerns of this life, such faith, while it evidences they 
have been justified is not the faith by which they were 
justified — the faith which justifies has to do directly with 
the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was 
the character of Abram 's faith in Genesis 15 ; he believed 
the promise of God which pointed to Christ. Hence it is in 
Genesis 15 and not in Genesis 12 we read, ''And He counted 
it to him for righteousness. ' ' How perfect are the ways of 

' ' And He said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee 
out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit 
if (v. 7). Abram now ventures to ask for a sign by which 
he may know that by his posterity, he shall inherit the land. 
''And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall 
inherit itT' (v. 8). We do not regard this question from 
Abram as arising from unbelief, but that having just been 
granted (v. 5) a sign or view of a numerous offspring he 
now desires a further sign or pledge by way of explanation. 
And now the Lord answers by putting Christ, in type, be- 
fore him. 

Abraham's Vision 169 

''And He said unto him, Take Me a heifer of three years 
oldy and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three 
years old, and a turtle dove, and a young pigeon. And he 
took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and 
laid each piece one against another, but the birds divided he 
not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, 
Abram drove them away" (vs. 9-11). The typical picture 
is wonderfully complete. **Take Me,*' observe, for the 
sacrifice belongs to, is for Ood. It has been pointed out by 
another that each of the three animals named here were 
tame ones, not wild and needing to be captured by Abram ; 
instead, they were the willing servants of man 's need. Each 
one foreshadowed a distinctive aspect of Christ's perfec- 
tions and work. The heifer of three years seems to have 
pointed to the freshness of His vigor; the goat, gave the 
sin-offering aspect; the ram is the animal that in the 
Levitical offerings was connected specially with consecra- 
tion. The birds told of One from Heaven. The *' three 
years," thrice repeated, suggested perhaps the time of our 
Lord's sacrifice, offered after ** three years" of service! 
Note that death passed upon them all, for without shedding 
of blood is no remission and where no remission is there can 
be no inheritance. The ''dividing" of the animals indi- 
cated that this sacrifice was to form the basis for a covenant 
(cf. Jer. 34:18, 19). The ''driving away" of the fowls 
seems to have shown forth the energy of faith. 

''And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell 
upon Abram ; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon 
him. And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy 
seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and 
shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred 
years" (vs. 12, 13). A profound truth is here taught us 
in type. Abram now learns that the inheritance can be 
reached only through suffering! His heirs would have to 
pass through the furnace before they entered into that 
whjch Qod had prepared for them. In the "deep sleep" 
and the "horror of great darkness" Abram, as it were, 
entered in spirit into death, as that through which all his 
seed would have to pass ere they experienced God's deliv- 
erance after the death of the Paschal Lamb. First the suf- 
fering, the four hundred years' "affliction," and then the 
inheritance. How this reminds us again of Romans 8 : 17 ! 
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of Gk>d, and joint heirs 

170 Gleanings in Genesis 

with Christ ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may 
be also glorified together. ' ' And again : ^ * We must through 
much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of €k)d" (Acts 
14:22). Thus it was with our blessed Lord — ^first the 
''sufferings'* and then ''the glory.'' We call attention to 
the wonderful and perfect order of the typical teaching 
here: first the sacri^ce (v. 9) ; second, "liiy seed" — sons 
(v. 13); third, suffering— "affliction" (v. 13); fourth, 
entering into the inheritance — "come hither again" (v. 16). 
How complete the typical picture 1 

"And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell 
upon Abram ; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon 
him" (v. 12). By this deep sleep we learn how Gk>d was 
showing the patriarch, qrmbolically, that not during his 
natural life would he inherit the land ; instead, he must go 
down into the grave and inherit it together with the Prom- 
ised Seed. In his awaking from this ' ' deep sleep ' ' Abram 
received a veiled promise of resurrection from the dead 
and the horror of great darkness as of the grave (cf. Heb. 
2 : 15) from which he was recalled again to the light of day. 
In a word, the way to blessing, to the inheritance, was 
through death and resurrection. 

"And He said unto Abram, know of a surety that thy 
seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and 
shall serve them ; and they shall afflict them four hundred 
years. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I 
judge ; and afterward shall they come out with great sub- 
stance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou 
shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth genera- 
tion they shall come hither again ; for the iniquity of the 
Amorites is not yet full" (vs. 13-16). These verses contain 
a sevenfold prophecy which received a literal and complete 
fulfillment. It had reference to the sojourn of Abram 's 
descendants in the land of Egypt, their bondage there, and 
their deliverance and return to Canaan. We can do little 
more now than outline the divisions of this compound 
prophecy. First, Abram 's descendants were to be strangers 
in a land not theirs (v. 13). Second, in that strange land 
they were to "serve" (v. 13). Third, they were to be 
"afflicted" four hundred years (v. 13) — ^note that Exodus 
12:40 views the entire "sojourning" of the children of 
Israel in Egypt. They "dwelt" in Egypt four hundred 
and thirty years, but were "afflicted" for only four hun- 

Abraham's Vision 171 

dred years of that time. Fourth, the nation whom Abram 's 
descendants *' served '* Qod would ** judge'' (v. 14). Fifth, 
Abram 's offspring were to come out of Egypt with ''great 
substance" (v. 14), cf. Ps. 105:37. Sixth, Abram himself 
was to be spared these afflictions — he should die in peace 
and be buried in a good old age (v. 15). Seventh, in the 
** fourth generation'* Abram 's descendants would return 
again to Canaan (v. 16). We take it that our readers are 
sufficiently well acquainted with the book of Exodus to 
know how wonderfully this prophecy was fulfilled, but we 
would point out here how accurately the seventh item was 
realized. By comparing Exodus 6:16-26 we find that it 
was exactly in the ^* fourth generation" that the children of 
Israel left Egypt and returned to Canaan. In this par- 
ticular example the first generation was Levi, the son of 
Jacob, who entered Egypt at the time his father and breth- 
ren did (Ex. 6:16). The second generation was Kohath 
(Ex« 6: 16), who was a son of Levi. The third generation 
was Amran, son of Kohath (Ex. 6:18). And the fourth 
generation brings us to Moses and Aaron, who were the sons 
of Amram (Ex. 6:20), and these were the ones who led 
Israel out of Egypt ! 

* ' And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and 
it was dark, behold a smoking furnace and a burning lamp 
that passed between those pieces" (v. 17). Much is sug- 
gested here which we have to pass by. The '^smoking fur- 
nace" and the '-'burning lamp" symbolized the two leading 
features of the history of Abram 's descendants. For the 
"furnace" see Jeremiah 11:3, 4, etc.; for the ''burning 
lamp" see 2 Samuel 22:29; Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 62: 
1, etc. Note a "smoking furnace and a burning lamp." 
Did not this teach Abram that in Israel's sufferings Qod 
would be with them; and that in all their afflictions. He 
would be afflicted, too f 

' ' In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, 
saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river 
of Egypt, unto the great river, the river Euphrates" (v. 
18). The covenant which Ood here made with Abram was 
based upon death, typically, the death of Christ. This cove- 
nant, based on sacrifice, was made by the Lord Himself ; it 
concerned the land ; and was absolutely unconditional. It 
has never yet been completely fulfilled. Note carefully its 
wording — ^"Unto thy seed have I given this land." Con- 

172 Gleanings in Genesis 

trast these words with Oenesis 13: 15 — ^''For all the land 
which thou seest to thee will I give iV* But now a sacri- 
fice had been offered, blood had been shed, the purchase 
price had been paid, and hence the change from * * I will ' ' to 

In these articles we are not attempting complete exposi- 
tions. They are little more than ** Notes*' — ^*' Gleanings" — 
and our prime endeavor is to indicate some of the broad 
outlines of truth in the hope that our readers will be led 
to fill in the details by their own personal studies. In con- 
cluding this paper it deserves to be noted that (Genesis 15 
is a chapter in which quite a number of important terms 
and expressions occur for the first time. The following is 
not a complete list, but includes some of the more important 
examples. Here for the first time we find that notable ex- 
pression, **The word of the Lord came xmto" (v. 1). Here 
is the first reference to a ** vision*' (v. 1). Here for the 
first time we read the words *' Fear not" (v. 1), which, with 
their equivalent, **Be not afraid," occur in Scriptures al- 
most one hundred and eighty times. Here is the first men- 
tion of God as a ** Shield" (v. 1). Here is the first occur- 
rence of the Divine title **Adonai Jehovah" — ^Lord (Jod 
(v. 2). Here for the first time we find the words ** Be- 
lieved," ** counted" or reckoned, and *' righteousness. " 
May writer and reader search the Scriptures daily and dili- 
gently so that each shall say, *'I rejoice at Thy Word, as 
one that findeth great spoil" (Ps. 119: 162). 


Genesis 16 

It is diffienlt to imagine a greater contrast than what is 
presented in our present chapter from the one reviewed in 
our last article. In Genesis 15 Abram is seen as the man 
of faithy in chapter 16 as the man of unbelief. In (Genesis 
15 he '^believed in the Lord," in Genesis 16 he ^'hearkened 
to the voice of Sarai." There he walks after the Spirit, 
here he acts in the energy of the fiesh. Sad inconsistency ! 
But One could say, '^I do always these things that please 
Him" (John 8:29). 

''Now Sarai, Abram 's wife, bare him no children; and 
she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath re- 
strained me from bearing. I pray thee, go in unto my 
maid, it may be that I may obtain children by her" (Gten. 
16: 1, 2). In this suggestion of Sarai 's we witness a fresh 
testing of Abram. Again and again our patriarch was tried 
— ^tried, may we not say, at every point. First, his faith 
had to overcome the ties of nature: Qod^a call was for him 
to leave his country and his kindred. Then, shortly after 
he had actually arrived in Canaan, his faith was tried by 
stress of circumstances — ^there was a famine in the land. 
Next, he had to meet a trial respecting a brother: Abram 
feared that the friction between his herdsmen and the 
herdsmen of his nephew might lead to ''strife" between 
brethren, and how he met this by his magnanimous offer to 
Lot we have already seen in an earlier chapter. Later, 
there was a testing of Abram 's couragef as well as his love 
for his nephew. Lot had been captured by a powerful war- 
rior, but Abram hastens to his rescue and delivers him. 
Subsequently, there was a testing of his cupidity. The King 
of Sodom offered to ' ' reward ' ' him for overcoming Chedor- 
laomer. And now he is tested by a suggestion from his 
wife. Would he take matters out of the hand of Qod and 
act in the energy of the flesh with reference to the obtaining 
of a son and heir. Thus, at six different points (to this 
stage in his history) was the character of Abram tested. 
We might summarize them thus : There was the trying of 
the fervor of his faith— did he love God more than home 


174 Gleanings in Genesis 

and kindred. There was the trying of the sufficiency of 
his faith — was he looking to the living Ood to supply all 
his need, or was he depending on propitious circumstances f 
There was the trying of the humility of his faith — ^would 
he assert his "rights/* or yield to Lot? There was the try- 
ing of the boldness of his faith — would he dare attempt the 
rescue of his nephew from the hands of a powerful war- 
rior f There was the trying of the dignity of his faith — 
would he bemean himself by accepting honors from the 
King of Sodom f There was the trying of the patience of 
his faith — ^would he wait for Qod to fulfil His word in His 
own good time and way, or would he take matters into his 
own hand f 

It is most instructive to note the setting of these various 
trials and temptations. Arrived in the land Abram was 
faced with a famine, and Egypt was at hand to lure the 
patriarch with its promise of relief from his anxiety. After 
his departure from Egypt and return to the path of Ood's 
will, the very next thing we read of is the strife betwe^i 
the herdsmen. Again: no sooner had Abram rescued Lot 
from his captors and been blessed by Melchizedek than he 
was tempted to dishonor Ood and bemean himself by a re- 
ward from the King of Sodom. And, immediately after 
Abram had received the wonderful revelation and promise 
of Ood recorded in Gtenesis 15, we read of this subtle temp* 
tation emanating from his wife. 

It seems to be a general principle in the ways of Ood with 
His own to first bless and enrich and then to test the recip- 
ient. Elisha ardently, desired to receive Elijah's mantle. 
His wish was granted ; and the next thing we read of him is 
the facing of Jordan — ^the mantle had to be used at once ! 
Solomon prayed for wisdom, and his prayer was heard, and 
at once his gift was called into exercise by the case of the 
two mothers each claiming the living child as hers. Thus 
it was, too, with our blessed Lord ; no sooner had the Holy 
Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove than we 
read, "And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the 
wilderness*' (Mark 1:12), where He was tempted of the 
devil. It is highly necessary for us to take the lesson to 
heart — it is when we have received some special mark of the 
Lord's favor, or immediately after we have enjoyed some 
unusual season of communion with him, that we need most 
to be on our guard ! 

Abraham and Hagar 175 

The evil suggestion that Sari made to Abram was a test- 
ing of the patience of his faith. Gk>d had said to Abram, ' ' I 
will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and 
make thy name great" (Gen. 12 : 2). He had said, further, 
''Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able 
to number them ; and He said unto him, So shall thy seed 
he*' (15 : 5), yet ten years had passed since the first of these 
promises and still Abram was childless. When the Lord re- 
peated His promise ''Abram believed in the Lord" (15 : 6), 
and now he was left to wait for the fulfillment of it. But 
waiting is just what the natural heart finds it so hard to 
endure. Bather than wait man prefers to take the manage- 
ment of his affairs into his own hands and use human ex- 
I)ediencies to give effect to the Divine promise. It was thus 
with Jacob ; the portion of the firstborn had been given to 
him and not to Esau, but instead of waiting for Ood to se- 
cure the inheritance for him, he sought to obtain it himself 
by his own dishonorable scheming. It was the same with 
Moses; God had declared that the descendants of Abram 
should be afilicted for 400 years in a strange country, and 
but 360 years had passed when Moses saw an Egyptian 
smiting a Hebrew, and taking matters into his own hands 
he smote and slew the Egyptian. It is one thing to "com- 
mit" our way unto the Lord, but it is quite another to trust 
also in Him, ' ' and wait till He brings it to pass. 

"And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai'' (v. 2). 
The father of mankind sinned by hearkening to his wife, 
and here the father of the faithful follows his example. 
These things are recorded for our learning. How often it 
is that a man's foes are those of his own household! How 
often those who are nearest to us by nature are snares and 
hindrances in the spiritual life! Hence, how deeply im- 
portant to heed the Divine admonition and "Be not un- 
equally yoked together. ' ' 

"And Sarai, Abram 's wife, took Hagar her maid, fhe 
Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of 
Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife'^ 
(v. 3). Galatians 4: 22-26 is the inspired commentary upon 
the doctrinal principles involved in this act and in Abram 's 
response to it. The dispensational significance of Abram 's 
fall has often been expounded by others so that it is un- 
necessary for us to dwell upon it here at any length. In 
refusing to wait upon the Lord, and in summoning to his 

176 Gleanings in Genesis 

aid this Egyptian maid for the fulfilling of the Divine prom- 
ise, Abram took a step which only ^'gendered to bondage/' 
just as now the believer does, if having begun in the Spirit 
he seeks to be made perfect by the flesh. 

The outcome of Abram 's yielding to the specious tempta- 
tion from his wife was quickly evidenced. **And he went 
in unto Hagar, and she conceived ; and when she saw that 
she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes'' 
(v. 4). The consequence was just what might have been 
expected. The Egyptian maid was elated at the honor ( f ) 
conferred upon her, and Sarai falls in her estimation. And 
now, when it is too late, Sarai repents and complains to her 
husband — ^'^ And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon 
thee. I have given my maid into thy bosom ; and when she 
saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes ; the 
Lord judge between me and thee" (v. 5). How true to 
human nature (fallen human nature) — ^to throw the blame 
of wrong-doing upon another ! Man ever seeks to shelve his 
responsibility and charge either Gk)d or Satan with what he 
terms his ' * misfortunes. ' ' 

* ' But Abram said upto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy 
hand ; do to her as it pleaseth thee " ( v. 6 ) . Abram refuses 
to accept the responsibility of Sarai 's ''wrong" and leaves 
her to deal with the evil which was the fruitage of her own 
sowing. But observe how one evil leads to another; in 
wronging his wife, Abram now surrenders to her his posi- 
tion as head of the household. 

''And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from 
her face'' (v. 6). Was it to this Solomon had reference 
when he said, " It is better to dwell in the ivildemess, than 
with a contentious and an angry woman" (Prov. 21: 19) t 
Hagar, too, had to learn that the way of the transgressor is 
hard. "And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain 
of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to 
Shur" (v. ?)• What grace was this. Divine grace, for we 
need not stop to prove that the "Angel of the Lord" (men- 
tioned here for the first time) was God Himself in the- 
ophanic manifestation. The place where He found this 
poor Egyptian maid attracts our attention. It was "by a 
fountain of water in the wilderness," termed in verse 14 
"the well." This is the first time we read of the "well" in 
Scripture. We pause to look at several other passages in 
the Old Testament where the "well" is mentioned, for the 


Abraham and Hagar 177 

purpoge of noting how beautifully they pointed to the One 
Who giveth the living water, that water of which those who 
drink shall never thirst" and which is in them a well of 
water springing up into ** everlasting life" (John 4). 
Ere turning to a few of those Scriptures, where the 
well" is mentioned we pause to note first what is said of it 
here in Genesis 16. Three things are to be observed con- 
cerning this **well." First, it was located in the "wilder- 
ness." Second, the well itself was *'by the fountain" — 
mark the repetition of these words in verse 7. And third, 
it was at this well that God revealed Himself to Hagar. 
Surely the symbols are easily interpreted. It is not amid 
the gaieties or the luxuries of the world that Christ is to be 
found. It is not while the soul is enjoying 'Hhe pleasures 
of sin for a season ' ' that the Saviour is met with. It is in 
the wilderness, that is, it is as we withdraw from the attrac- 
tions of earth and are in that state of soul which answers to 
the * ' wilderness ' ' that the Lord meets with the sinner, and 
where is it that the needy one finds the Saviour f Where, 
but "by the fountain of water" — ^tjrpe of the written 
Word! Should these lines catch the eye of some sinnsick 
and troubled heart that is earnestly seeking the Lord Jesus, 
turn, we beseech thee, away from man, and "search the 
Scriptures," for they are they which testify of Him. Fi- 
nally, note that it was here at the "well" that God was 
revealed — ^ ' and she called the name of the Lord that spake 
unto her. Thou God seest me ; for she said, Have I also here 
looked after Him that seeth mef Wherefore the well was 
called Beer-lahai-roi — ^the well of Him that liveth and seeth 
me" (vs. 13, 14). So Christ— of whom the "well" speaks 
— ^*'He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." It is in 
Him that God is fully revealed. 

The next Scripture in which the "well" is found is 
Genesis 21:19, again in connection with Hagar: "And 
Gk)d opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. ' ' How 
plain is the type I "No man can come to Me, except the 
Father which hath sent Me draw him" (John 6 : 44) . And 
not only so, but none can see Christ with the eyes of the 
heart until they are opened by God. "And Jesus answered 
and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona ; for 
flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee (i. e., that 
Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God), but My 
Father whieh is in heaven" (Matt. 16 : 17) . As it was here 

178 Gleanings in Genesis 

with Hagar — ^''God opened her eyes, and she saw a well" — 
so also was it with Lydia, ** whose heart the Lord opened, 
that she attended unto the things which were spoken of 
Paul" (Acts 16 : 14), and as it was with Lydia so is it with 
all who believe. 

' * Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land 
of the people of the East. And he looked, and behold a 
well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep 
lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks'' 
{Gten. 29 : 1, 2). Comment here is needless. The ''well" is 
the place where the sheep were watered and refreshed. 
So, again, with the antitjrpe. Not only does our Lord give 
life — His own life — ^but He refreshes our parched souls day 
by day. 

''And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well 
whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people to- 
gether, and I will give them water. Then Israel sang this 
song, Spring up, well: sing ye unto it" (Num. 21:16, 
17). What a word is this ! It reminds us of (Genesis 22 : 8 
compared with Isaiah 53:7. In the former passage the 
promise is that ' ' Ood will provide Himself a lamb, ' ' and in 
the latter, the Lamb is definitely identified — ^^He was led 
as a lamb to the slaughter." And so here. The "well" is 
personified — ^"Sing ye unto it"! Note, too, that the well 
was here made the gathering center of Israel. 0, may we, 
as we gather around our blessed Lord, "sing" unto Him 
that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own 

"Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel, for 
they might not be seen to come into the city ; and a wench 
went and told them ; and they went and told King David. 
Nevertheless, a lad saw them, and told Absalom; but they 
went both of them away quickly, and came to a man 's house 
in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they 
went down. And the woman took and spread a covering 
over the well's mouth, and spread ground com thereon; 
and the thing was not known" (2 Sam. 17: 17-19). Thus 
the "well" was a place of protection for Jonathan and his 
servant. They were securely hidden in the well. How this 
reminds us of that word, "Your life is hid with Christ in 
God" (Col. 3:3). 

Summarizing the typical teaching of the Scriptures we 
have little more than glanced at, we learn : First, that the 


Abraham and Hagar 179 

''well" is to be found **by the fountain of water," which, 
to interpret, signifies, that Christ is to be found in the 
written Word. Second, that it is at the well God revealed 
Himself, just as in Christ God is now fully told out. Third, 
it was not until God opened the eyes of Hagar, that she 
"saw" the well. So it is not until the eyes of our heart are 
opened by God the Spirit that we are enabled to see Christ 
as the One we need and as the Fairest among ten thousand. 
Fourth, that it is at the well the ** sheep" are ** watered." 
So it is in communion with Christ our souls are refreshed. 
Fifth, that the well was the place where Israel were gath- 
ered together by the Word of Jehovah through Moses. So 
Christ is now the appointed Gathering-Center when we 
come together for worship. Sixth, unto the well Israel were 
bidden to '*sing." So throughout time and eternity our 
adorable Lord will be the Object and Subject of our praises. 
Seventh, the well was the place where Jonathan and his 
servant found protection from their enemies. So in Christ 
we find shelter from every foe and refuge from every storm. 
"And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of 
water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 
And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thouf 
and whither wilt thou gof And she said, I flee from the 
face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said 
unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under 
her hands" (vs. 7-9). "Grace reigns through righteous- 
ness." It was grace that sought her, it was righteousness 
that thus counselled her. Grace is never exercised at the 
expense of righteousness. Grace upholds rather than ig- 
nores our responsibilities toward God and toward our neigh- 
bor. The grace of God that bringeth salvation, teaches us 
to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, 
righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2: 12). 
Note two things here in connection with Hagar. First, the 
angel of the Lord addresses her as " Sarai 's maid," thus 
disallowing her marriage ( f) with Abram; and second, she 
is bidden to ' ' return ' ' to her mistress. The day would come 
when God Himself would open the door, and send Hagar 
out of Abram 's house (21:12-14), but till then she must 
"submit" herself to the authority of Sarai. For another 
thirteen years she must patiently endure her lot and per- 
form her duty. In the meantime, the Lord cheers Hagar 's 
heart with a promise (see v. 10). Is there a word here for 

180 Gleanings in Genesis 

any of our readers? Is there one who has fled from the 
post of dutyf Then to such the Lord's word is, '* Return 
.... submit. " If we have done wrong, no matter what the 
temptation or provocation may have been, the only way to 
Divine blessing, to peace and happiness, is to retrace our 
footsteps (as far as this is possible), in repentance and sub* 

'^ And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou 
art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name 
Ishmael ; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And 
he will be a wild man ; his hand will be against every man, 
and every man's hand against him" (vs. 11, 12). This 
prophecy seems to have had reference more to his posterity 
than to Ishmael himself. It is well known how accurately 
its terms have been fulfilled in the Arabs who, in all ages, 
have been a wild and warlike people, and who, though sur- 
rounded by nations that have each been conquered in turn, 
yet have themselves been unsubdued by the great Powers 
unto this day. 

''And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto 
her. Thou Gkxl seest me; for she said. Have I also here 
looked after Him that seeth me. Wherefore, the well was 
called, The well of Him that liveth and seeth me" (vs. 13, 
14). May the Lord Himself find us at the **well" as He 
did Hagar of old, and may it be ours as it was hers to hear 
and see Him. 



Genesis 17 

We have reached another of the important crises in the 
history of our patriarch and are to behold again the match- 
less grace of Jehovah in His dealings with the father of all 
them that believe. Thirteen years had elapsed (see 17 : 25) 
since Abram, in his impatient unbelief had ^ ^ hearkened to 
the voice of Sarah." Significant number this! In Scrip- 
ture thirteen is invariably found in an evil connection sig- 
nifying, as it does in the language of numerics, unbelief, 
rebellion, aposta&fy. The first time this numeral is met with 
in the Word is Genesis 14 : 4, where we read, ' ' Twelve years 
they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they 
rebelled.^' How closely Abram's own experience resembled 
this ! Abram was seventy-five years of age when God 's call 
had come to leave home and kindred and to tread the high- 
way of faith, and for practically twelve years he had en- 
dured as seeing Him who is invisible. But at the age of 
eighty-six (Gen. 17:1, ninety-nine, less the thirteen years 
for the age of Ishmael, 17 : 25 ) Abram turned aside from 
the path of faith and resorted to the devices of the flesh, 
hearkening to the suggestion of Sarah to obtain a son by 
Hagar her Egyptian maid. And now another thirteen years 
pass, during which time there is no mention of any appear- 
ing of the Lord unto him. This interval is passed over in 
silence ; it is a blank, a period of spiritual barrenness ; ap- 
parently a season which brought forth nothing but wood, 
hay and stubble. Thus we find that the first two mention- 
ings of this numeral thirteen are associated, respectively, 
with rebellion and impatient unbelief in resorting to carnal 
efforts instead of waiting upon God. And it will be found 
that thirteen is an evil number right through the Scriptures 
(see 1 Kings 7 : 1 and contrast 6 : 38 ; Esther 3 : 12, 13, etc.) . 
The same is true of instances where the numeral is not 
specifically mentioned as, for example, the marching of Is- 
rael thirteen times around the defiant Jericho; also the 
thirteen *' judges^' enumerated in Judges, which is the book 
of apostasy (see 21 : 25) ; so, too, of Mark 7 : 21-23, where 
the Lord specifies just thirteen of the evil characteristics 


182 Gleanings in Genesis 

and products of the depraved heart of man ; other exam- 
ples might be added such as the fact that the term ' ' Drag- 
on '^ is found exactly thirteen times in the apocalypse. 
Again, the same uniform evil significance of this numeral is 
discovered in cases where multiples of thirteen occur in 
Scripture : thus Jacob says to Pharaoh, ' ' The days of the 
years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years 
(13 X 10) : few and evU have the days of the years of my life 
been*' (Gen. 47 : 9). In Numbers 16, which records the re- 
hellion of Eorah, Dathan and Abiram and the visitation of 
€k)d'8 wrath upon them and their followers, we find there 
perished 250 (Num. 16:35) plus 14,700 (Num. 16:49) or 
14,950 in all, which is 13 x 1,150. In Deuteronomy 14 
there is a list of the unclean animals and birds which the 
Israelites were forbidden to eat, and a careful count shows 
there were just 26 or 13 x 2, which were prohibited (see 
vs. 7-19). At the hands of his unbelieving countrymen the 
Apostle Paul received ** forty stripes save one'* (2 Cor. 
11: 24), or 39, that is 13 x 3. The Epistle of Jude which 
treats of the apostasy of Christendom is the twenty-sixth 
book of the New Testament. And so on. In the light of 
these examples it is surely not without deep meaning that 
we learn there was an interval of just thirteen years be- 
tween the incident mentioned in Genesis 16 and that re- 
corded in (Genesis 17, between Abram hearkening to the 
voice of Sarah and the Lord's appearing to him anew, and 
that this interval is one of spiritual barrenness and is 
passed over in silence. Ere we turn and consider the 
gracious revelation which the Lord made to Abram at the 
close of this interval let us first ask and ponder an im- 
I>ortant question : 

Why had Abram to wait all this while before the Lord 
appeared to him again f Why must so many years drag 
their weary course before Jehovah reveals Himself once 
more and makes promise of giving him Isaac f Is not the 
answer to be found in Romans 4 : 19 f ' ' And being not 
weak in faith; he considered not his own body now dead, 
when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the 
deadness of Sarah 's womb. ' ' Ood was about to act in grace, 
but ere grace can be displayed the creature has first to come 
to the end of himself: ere divine power is put forth man 
must learn his own impotency. Not till Israel were driven 
to desperation and despair at the Bed Sea did the word 

Abraham at Ninety and Nine 18S 

come, ''Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord/' So 
here. Not till Abram's body was *'dead'' would God ful- 
fil His word and give him a son. Gk)d's opportunity does 
not come until man's extremity is reached. This is a lesson 
we sorely need to take to heart, for it is of great practical 
importance. It might be tersely expressed thus : the Lord 
has a reason for all His delays. God not only does that 
which is right and best but He always acts at the right and 
best time. Mark, it was not until ' ' the fulness of time had 
come, Gkxl sent forth His Son, made of a woman" (GaL 
4:4). Is not this the explanation of what is a sore problem 
to many hearts? We mean, Gk)d's delay in sending back 
His Son the second time. Like one of old, we are often 
tempted to ask, ''Why is His chariot so long in coming? 
Why tarry the wheels of His chariots t" (Judges 5:28). 
Ah ! here is the answer — the ^^fvlness of time" has not yet 
arrived. God has a wise and good reason for the delay. 
What that is we learn from 2 Peter 3:9: " The Lord is 
not slack concerning His promise (to send back His Son — 
see V. 4), as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering 
to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all 
should come to repentance." Gk)d's delay in sending back 
His Son is due to His long-sufferance, not willing that any 
should perish. 

Let us repeat what we have said above and apply it to 
another perplexing problem. Gtod has a reason for His 
delays. Not until man comes to the end of himself will God 
put forth His power. Not until man 's extremity is reached 
does God's opportunity arrive. Not until our own powers 
are ''dead" will God act in grace. What is the great lesson 
of Psalm 107 but this t ' ' They wandered in the wilderness 
in a solitary way ; they found no city to dwell in.^ Hungry 
and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried 
imto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out 

of their distresses Therefore He brought down their 

heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to 
help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and 

He saved them out of their distresses They that go down 

to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters ; These 
see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. 
For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which 
lifteth up the waves tiiereof . They mount up to the heaven, 
thqr go down again to the depths : their soul is melted be- 

184 Gleanings in Genesis 

eause of trouble. They reel tx> and fro and stagger like a 
drunken man, and are at their tvit's end. Then they cry 
unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out 
of their distresses'' (Ps. 107:4-6, 12, 13, 23-28). Ah! it is 
when we are at our ** wit's end," when all our own devices 
have failed and all our own efforts come to nought, that 
we *'cry unto the Lord in our trouble," and **then" He 
bringeth us out of our distresses. 

Beloved reader, apply now this principle to your own in- 
dividual life. Are you anxiously exercised over Gk)d's 
delay? He has some wise purpose for it. He had with 
Abram, and He has with you. Prom seventy-five — ^his age 
when he left Haran — ^to one hundred — ^when Isaac was 
bom — was a long time to wait, but the sequel evidenced 
the Lord 's wisdom. God has more than one reason for His 
delays. Often it is to test the faith of His children, to de- 
velop their patience, to bring them to the end of them- 
selves. His delays are in order that when He does act His 
delivering power may be more plainly evident, that what 
He does may be more deeply appreciated, and that in conse- 
quence He may be more illustriously glorified. 

''And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Al- 
mighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect" (Gen. 
17: 1). These words are to be regarded first as a reproof. 
It was as though the Lord had said, ''Have recourse no 
more to unbelieving expedients; keep now to the path of 
uprightness, and leave Me to fulfil My promise in My own 
good time and way." This opening verse of Gtenesis 17 
needs to be read in the light of God's original promise to 
Abram to give him a "seed" (Gen. 13: 15, 16) and the at- 
tempt made by our patriarch to obtain fulfilment by his 
own efforts. What Abram needed to be reminded of was 
God's Almightiness. It was for want of considering this 
that he had had recourse to crooked devices. Another les- 
son this which we do well to mark — never to employ unlaw- 
ful means in seeking to promote the cause of God. How 
much the Lord's servants need to heed this truth! Like 
Abram, they are longing for seed, spiritual seed, but it 
comes not; and only too often they resort to unworthy 
methods to produce seed of themselves, arguing that the end 
justifies the means. Here is the effectual cure for all im- 

Abraham at Ninety and Nine 185 

patient anxiety — ^to reckon on One who is all-gracious, all- 
powerful, all-sufScient. 

^'And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Al- 
mighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect'* ((Jen. 
17:1). But again. These words must be regarded as a 
blessed exhibition of Divine Love. It is written that ' ' Love 
suffereth long, and is kind. ' ' How this was exemplified in 
Ood's dealings with the patriarchs of old ! How they tried 
that lovel How often they grieved it! How often they 
acted unworthily of it I Yet, notwithstanding, as it was 
with the apostles so it was with the patriarchs — 
"Having loved His own which were in the world, He 
loved them to the end*' (John 13:1). How patiently 
€k)d bore with Abram! It was love that "suffered long'' 
with Abram 's failings! It was love that persisted 
with him in spite of every check and drawback. It was love 
that now met him and promised to grant the desire of his 
heart, and in old age give him a son. And, Christian 
readers, is it not Divine Love that still "suffers long'* with 
each of us ! Would we not have perished long ago were it 
not that nothing is able to separate us from the love of Ood 
in Christ Jesus f Ah, note the last three words. It is the 
love of Ood in Christ Jesus. That love is a righteous love 
and not a sickly sentimentality at the expense of holiness. 
In the epistle which tells us that Qod is Love, we first read 
that"God is JWflrfcr' (seel John 1:5; 4:8). Buttoretum 
to (Jenesis 17 : 1. 

"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram and said unto him, I am the Al- 
mighty Ood.** The revelation which (Jod here made of 
Himself was well suited to the occasion. This was the first 
time that He revealed Himself as "the Almighty." None 
but One who possessed all power could meet Abram 's need 
at this time. Ninety and nine years of age, his body dead ; 
Sarah barren and long past the age of child-bearing — ^how 
could they hope to have a son? But with Gk)d all things 
are possible. And whyf Because He is El Shaddai, the 
All-Sufficient One. The "Almighty" is a title which strikes 
terror into the hearts of the wicked, but to the righteous it 
is a haven of rest. "The name of the Lord is a strong 
tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Prov* 

186 Gleanings in Genesis 

The second time that the Lord revealed Himself as El 
Shaddai was under circumstances very similar to those 
found in Genesis 17 : 1 and context. ' ' And God appeared 
unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padam-aram, and 
blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob : 
thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel 
shall be thy name; and He called his name Israel. And 
God said unto him, I am Qod Almighty: be fruitful and 
multiply ; a nation and a company of nations shall be of 
thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins" (Gen. 35 : 9-11). 
It will be noted that when God revealed Himself as the Al- 
mighty to Abram, He changed his name from Abram to 
Abraham; so here, He changes the name of his grandson 
from Jacob to Israel. To Abram Gk)d said, ''And I will 
make My covenant between Me and thee, and wM multiply 
thee exceedingly .... and thou shalt be a father of many 
nations" (17:2, 4) ; to Jacob He said, ''Be fruitful and 
multiply; a nation and a aympany of nations shall be of 
thee" (35: 11). Again, we are told that God "appeared" 
to Abram (17 : 1), literally "was seen to Abram," and here 
in 35 : 9 the same word is used — ^this is the more striking 
for, excepting 12 : 7, these are the only occasions in Genesis 
where we read of God "appearing" to the patriarchs, as 
though to emphasize the importance of this Divine title. 
Finally, in noting the parallelisms between Genesis 17 and 
35, we may observe that at the close of this Divine inter- 
view we read ' ' And He left off talking with him, and God 
went up from Abraham" (Gen. 17:22) and in 35:13 we 
are told, "And God went up from him in the place where 
He talked with him. ' ' 

It is blessed to remember that this same divine title is 
found in the Church epistles: "Wherefore come out from 
among them (as Abram did from Chaldea), and be ye sep- 
arate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing (as 
Abram did with Hagar) ; and I will receive you. And will 
be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daugh- 
ters, saith the Lord Almighty** (2 Cor. 6:17, 18). It is 
because our God and Father is the "Almighty" that *^He 
is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto 
Gk)d by Him" — Christ (Heb. 7:25). It is because our 
God and Father is the "Almighty" that ''He is able to 
succor them that are tempted" (Heb. 2:18). It is 
because our God and Father is the "Almighty" that 

Abraham at Ninety and Nine 187 

notlimg ''shall he able to separate us from the lov« of God 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Bom. 8:39). It is 
because our Saviour is ' ' Almighty ' ' that He shall ' ' change 
our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glori- 
ous body, according to the working whereby He is able even 
to subdue all things unto Himself" (Phil. 3: 21). It is be- 
cause our Ood is the ''Almighty" that He "«> able to do 
exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, ac- 
cording to the power that worketh in us" (Eph. 3:20). 
It is because our Lord is "Almighty" that He "t5 able to 
keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the 
presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). 

"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the 
Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Al- 
mighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect" (Gten. 
17 : 1 ) . We would call attention to four passages which 
refer to the walk of the Lord 's people in which a different 
preposition is used. Here in Gtenesis 17 : 1 Abram is bidden 
to "walk before^* Almighty God. The children of Israel 
were exhorted to "walk after** the Lord: "Ye shall walk 
after the Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep His com- 
mandments" (Deut. 13: 4). Of Enoch and Noah it is wit- 
nessed that they "walked with God" (Gen. 5:24; 6:9). 
But of those who are members of the Body of Christ the 
word is, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the 
Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Col. 2:6). To walk before is 
suggestive of a child running ahead and playing in the 
presence of his father, conscious of his perfect security be- 
cause he is just behind. To walk after becomes a servant 
following his master. To walk with indicates fellowship 
and friendship. To walk in denotes union. As to how we 
are to walk in Christ, the Holy Spirit tells us in the words 
which immediately follow the exhortation: "Booted and 
built up in Him" (Col. 2:7). We might summarize these 
varied aspects of the believer's walk as intimated by the 
four different prepositions thus : we walk ' ' before * ' Ghod as 
children; we walk "after" Him as servants; we walk 
"with" Him as His friends; we walk "in" Him as mem- 
bers of His body. 

"Be thou perfect.** The careful reader will notice that 
the words "upright" and "sincere" are supplied in the 
margin as alternatives for "perfect," but it seems to us 
there is no need for this, that the word in the text is a legit* 

188 Gleanings in Genesis 

imate rendering of the Hebrew ''tamin." The same word 
oecors in Psahn 19: 7: ''The Law (Word) of the Lord is 
perfect, converting the soul." It is the same word which 
is translated forty-four times ^'without blemish." Then, 
did Qod really say to Abram^ "Be thou perfect?" He cer- 
tainly did. And how could He say anything lessf What 
lower standard than that of perfection can the Perfect One 
set before His creatures f Only too often men whittle down 
the Word to make it square with their own conceptions. 
All through the Scriptures, the standard of perfection is 
set before us. The law required that Israel should love the 
Lord their Ood with all their hearts. The Lord Jesus bade 
His disciples, "Be ye therefore perfect as your Father 
which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). And the 
teaching of the Epistles is all summed up in that Word, 
"Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye 
should follow His steps" (1 Pet. 2:21). Is not that the 
standard of perfection? Brethren, such is the standard 
set before us. This is that which we are constantly to strive 
after. With nothing short may we be satisfied. It is be- 
cause such is the standard that none in the flesh have ever 
realized it, that each and all must say with the apostle, ' ' Not 
as though I had already attained, either were already per^ 
feet ; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for 
which also I am aprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I 
count not myself to have apprehended : but this one thing 
I do, forgetting those things 'which are behind, and reach- 
ing forth unto those things which are before, I press toward 
the mark for the prize of the high calling of Gk>d in Christ 
Jesus" (Pha. 3: 12-14). Yet, nevertheless, the Word to us 
today is the same as that to Abram of old : "Be thou per- 
fect. ' ' Does some one murmur, * * An impossible standard I * * 
Then remember that it was El Shaddai who gave it. Who 
dares to talk of "impossibilities" when the Almighty is our 
Qtodi Has He not said "My grace is sufficient for thee"t 
Then, do not charge Him with setting before us an imat- 
tainable standard: rather let us charge ourselves with 
failure to rest upon His Almighty arm, and confess with 
shame that the blame is ours through not appropriating His 
aU-sufficient grace. 

"And Abram feU on his face: and God talked with him" 
(Gen. 17:3). It seems to us that this act of Abram in 
prostrating himself before the Lord must be looked at in 

Abraham at Ninety and Nine 189 

the light of his ways as recorded in the previous chaptei 
his taking of matters into his own hands instead of leaving 
them with Qod ; his resorting to fleshly expediences instead 
of patiently waiting for Him to act. And now that Jehovah 
condescends to reveal Himself again to Abram, he is over- 
whelmed at such grace. Thns we regard Abram's falling 
on his face not so much due to confusion as to wonderment 
at the divine favor shown him notwithstanding his unbelief. 

We cannot now comment upon the remaining verses of 
the chapter, but in closing would call attention to one other 
feature. It is to be noted that in connection with the rev- 
elation of Himself as the '' Almighty" the Lord Qod made 
Abram a composite promise in which seven times He said 
**I will'' — ^''And I mil make thee exceeding fruitful, and 
I tuill make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of 
thee. And I tuill establish My covenant between Me and 
thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an 
everlasting covenant to be a Ood unto thee and to thy seed 
after thee. And / mill give unto thee, and to thy seed after 
thee the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of 
Canaan, for an everlasting possession ; and I will be their 
God. . . . And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son 
indeed : and thou shalt call his name Isaac : and I will es- 
tablish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, 
and with his seed after him. . . . But My covenant will I es- 
tablish with Isaac'' (vs. 6, 7, 8, 19, 21). The relationship 
between this compound promise and the title of Deity used 
on the occasion of its utterance is the pledge of its fulfil- 
ment. It is because all power is at His disposal, it is be- 
cause He is sufficient in Himself, that the performing of all 
He has said is sure. What Otod says He will do. So sure 
is the fulfilment that in verse 5 the Liord says, ' ' f or a father 
of many nations have I made thee" (not '^will I make 
thee"), just as in Romans 8:30 it is ''whom He justified 
them He also glorified, ' ' and yet in experience the glorifica- 
tion is yet future. 

With the above seven *'I wills" of God should be com- 
pared the seven "I wills" of Exodus 6:6-8, "Wherefore 
say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I wiU 
bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, 
and I mil rid you of their bondage, and / mil redeem you 
with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: and 
/ will take you to be a people, and / will be to you a Gtod : 

190 Gleanings in Genesis 

and ye shall know that I am the Lord your Qod^ which 
bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Eg3rptians. 
And / will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which 
I did sware to give it to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; 
and / mU give it you for a heritage : I am the Lord. " Our 
purpose in calling attention to this latter passage is that in 
Genesis 16 the Lord revealed Himself to Abram as the Al- 
mighty and followed the revelation with a sevenfold prom- 
ise, and here in Exodus 6 He reveals Himself as Jehovah 
(v. 3) and follows this revelation with another sevenfold 
promise. Perfect are the ways and perfect is the Word of 
Him with whom we have to do. 


Genesis 20 

In our last chapter we considered at some length the rev- 
elation which God made of Himself to Abraham as the Al- 
mighty, together with the sevenfold promise which accom- 
panied this revelation, including, as it did, that Abraham 
and Sarah should be given Isaac in their old age. In Gen- 
esis 18 we behold the Lord in full fellowship with the one 
He thrice terms His ''friend," eating at his table, and mak- 
ing known his purpose concerning Sodom; while at the 
close of the chapter Abraham is seen as an intercessor be- 
fore God. And now, in Gtenesis 20, we are to witness a sad 
and dramatic change. There is a return to the miserable 
policy which he followed down in Egypt. Afraid that his 
life may be taken from him on account of his wife, he 
causes her to pose as his sister, and only through a direct 
interposition by Gk>d is she delivered from the effects of 
his sin. 

' ' And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south 
country and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned 
in Gterar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my 
sister: and Abimelech, King of Gerar, sent and took Sarah" 
(Gen. 20 : 1, 2) . The contents of Gtenesis 20 furnish a strik- 
ing proof of the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures. No 
fictitious historian would have recorded this dark blot on 
the life of such an illustrious personage as Abraham. The 
tendency of the human heart is ever toward hero worship, 
and the common custom of biographers is to conceal the de- 
fects and blemishes in the careers of the characters which 
they delineate, and this, had it been followed, would nat- 
urally forbid the mention of such a sad fall in the life of 
one of the most venerated names on the scroll of history. 
Ah 1 but herein the Bible differs from all other books. The 
Holy Spirit has painted the portraits of Scripture char- 
acters in the colors of nature and truth. He has given a 
faithful picture of the human heart such as is common to 
all mankind. 

At first sight it seems incredible that Abraham should 
have acted as recorded here in Genesis 20, but further re- 
flection will convince any honest Christian that the picture 


192 Gleanings in Genesis 

here drawn is only too true to life: ^^As in water face an- 
swereth to face, so the heart of man to man" (Prov. 27 : 19) . 
The remaining of the old nature in the believer, the occa- 
sional manifestations of it in God-dishonoring activities, 
the awful backslidings which God 's children have been sub- 
ject to in all ages, and the reviewing of our own sad de- 
partures from the path of faith and righteousness, are quite 
enough to explain the deplorable and seemingly unaccount- 
able conduct of the father of all who believe. And if the 
reader knows nothing of such departures and backslidings 
let him not boast of his faithfulness and superior piety, 
rather let him ascribe all glory to the matchless grace of 
Him that is able to keep us from falling. 

Sad indeed, inexpressibly sad, was Abraham's conduct. 
It was not the fall of a young and inexperienced disciple, 
but the lapse of one who had long walked the path of faith 
that here shows himself ready to sacrifice the honor of his 
wife, and what is worse, give up the one who was the de- 
positary of all the promises. ^ ^ What then is man, and what 
hope for him except in God None, surely. And it is to 
ground us well in this that we are given to see the sad and 
terrible failures of these honored servants of God. Not to 
discourage but to lead us to the Source of all comfort and 
strength. Only in realized weakness do we find this. Only 
when unable to do without God for a moment do we find 
what He is for us moment by moment'' (P. W. Grant). 

What made the matter so much worse in Abraham 's case 
was that it was not a question of being surprised into a 
sudden fault. It was the recurrence of an old sin. Long ago 
he had followed the same wicked course in Egypt, where 
his duplicity had been discovered and from whence he was 
banished in disgrace. But the experience profited him not. 
Some twenty or twenty-five years had passed since then, 
and in the interval he had built an altar unto the Lord, 
had vanquished Chedorlaomer, had been blessed by Mel- 
chizedek the priest of the Most High God, had repulsed the 
offer of the King of Sodom to be enriched at his hands, and 
had received wondrous revelations and promises from God ; 
yet now we see him leaving God out of his reckoning, and 
ensnared by the fear of man, resorting to the most shameful 
deception. How then shall we account for this? The ex- 
planation is obvious: until the time referred to in Gten- 

Abraham at Gerar 19S 

esis 20 Abraham had not been in circnmstances to call into 
exercise the evil that was in his heart 

^ ^ The evil was not fully brought out — ^not confessed, not 
got rid of — and the proof of this is, that the moment he 
again finds himself in circumstances which could act upon 
his weak point, it is at once made manifest that the weak 
point is there. The temptation through which he passed 
in the matter of the King of Sodom was not by any means 
calculated to touch this peculiar point ; nor was anything 
that occurred to him from the time that he came up out of 
Egypt until he went down to Gerar calculated to touch it, 
for had it been touched it would no doubt have exhibited 

* * We can never know what is in our hearts until circum- 
stances arise to draw it out. Peter did not imagine he could 
deny his Lord, but when he got into circumstances which 
were calculated to act upon his peculiar weakness, he showed 
that his weakness was there. 

*'It required the protracted period of forty years in the 
wilderness to teach the children of Israel ' what was in their 
hearts' (Deut. 8:2); and it is one of the grand residts of 
the course of discipline through which each child of Gtod 
passes, to lead him into a more profound knowledge of his 
own weakness and nothingness. 'We had the sentence of 
death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves 
but in God which raiseth the dead' (2 Cor. 1:9). The more 
we are growing in the sense of our infirmities, the more shall 
we see our need of clinging more closely to Christ — drawing 
more largely upon His grace, and entering more fully into 
the cleansing virtue and value of His atoning blood. The 
Christian, at the opening of his course never knows his own 
heart ; indeed, he could not bear the full knowledge of it ; 
he would be overwhelmed thereby. * The Lord leads us not 
by the way of the Philistines lest we should see war,' and 
so be plunged into despair. But He graciously leads us by 
a circuitous route, in order that our apprehension of His 
grace may keep pace with our growing self-knowledge" 
(C. H. M.). 

As we have seen, it was stress of circumstances which re- 
vealed the state of Abraham 's heart, as it is of ours. Though 
the wording of it might be improved, we thoroughly agree 
with the sentiment of a preacher who long ago said, '^We 
possess no more religion than what we have in the time 

194 Gleanings in Genesis 

of trouble." It is comparatively easy to trust Qod while 
everything goes along pleasantly, but the time of disap- 
pointment, of loss, of persecution, of bereavement, is the 
time of testing ; and then how often we fail ! Here is where 
the Lord Jesus is in such striking conttxtst from all others. 
Stress of circumstances only served to display the perfec- 
tions of His heart. When He was a hungered, and tempted 
by Satan to make bread to supply His own need, He lived 
by every word of Qod. When He sat by the well, worn with 
His journey, He was not too weary to speak words of grace 
and life to the poor Samaritan woman. When the cities in 
which His mightiest works had been done rejected His mes- 
sage, He meekly submitted, saying '^Even so, Father: for 
so it seemed good in Thy sight'' (Matt 11 : 23-26). When 
He was reviled, He reviled not again. And in the supreme 
crisis, on the cross. His perfections were fully displayed — 
praying for the forgiveness of His enemies, speaking the 
word of acceptance to the repentant thief, making provi- 
sion for His widowed mother, yielding up His spirit into 
the hands of the Father. Ah! our garments (sfymbols of 
conduct, habits, ways) are at best, so much patchwork, but 
His were ** without seam, woven from the top throughout'* 
(John 19 : 23). Yes, in all things He has the preeminence. 

Light is thrown upon Abraham's fall by the thirteenth 
verse of our chapter — ^'^And it came to pass, when Qod 
caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said 
unto her. This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto 
me ; at every place whither we shall come, say of me. He is 
my brother." It is to be noted that this arrangement en- 
tered into by Abraham with his wife, was made before they 
left Chaldea. It was therefore something which they 
brought with them from the place of their birth I In other 
words, it was that which was attached to the old man and, 
as we have seen, something which had never been judged. 
Let us learn then from this, the vileness of the flesh, the 
utter corruption of the old nature, the hideousness of the 
old man. Truly there is need for us to * * mortify ' ' our mem- 
bers which are on the earth. 

Plainly, the evil compact which Abraham made with 
Sarah was due to the feebleness of his faith in God 's power 
to take care of them. And once more, let not writer or 
reader sit in pharisaic judgment upon Abraham, but see a 
picture of himself. Abraham did but illustrate what is all 

Abraham at Gerar 195 

too sadly common among the Lord's people — ^that which 
might be termed the inconsistency of faith. How often 
those who are not afraid to trust Qod with their souls, are 
afraid to trust Him with regard to their bodies I How often 
those who have the full assurance of faith in regard to eter- 
nal things, are full of unbelief and fear when it comes to 
temporal things! We have believed in the Lord and it 
has been counted unto us for righteousness ; yet, how often, 
like Abraham, in the matter of the practical concerns of 
our daily life, we toO| have more confidence in our own wis- 
dom and scheming than we have in the sufficiency of Gk>d. 

And how did Qtod actf Did He lose patience with Abra- 
ham, and cast off one so fickle and inconsistent f Manifestly 
Abraham had dishonored the Lord in acting as he did, in 
setting such an evil example before these heathen (Phil- 
istines). Yet, behold the grace of Him with whom we have 
to do. Instead of casting him off, Gk>d interposed and de- 
livered Abraham and his wife from the peril which men- 
aced them. Not only did Gkxl not forsake Abraham, but He 
woidd not abandon him to his foes. Ah I the gifts and call- 
ing of God are ** without repentance.'' And why? Be- 
cause they are bestowed altogether without respect to any 
worthiness in the recipient, and hence, because Gk>d's gifts 
are free and we do nothing to merit them, we can do noth- 
ing to demerit them. 

* * The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, 
I will not, I will not desert to his foes ; 
That soul, though all Hell should endeavor to shake, 
111 never, no never, no never forsake." 

''But Qod came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and 
said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman 
which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife" (Qen. 20: 
3). This statement may appear very commonplace to the 
casual reader — ^the mere narration of a detail lacking in 
importance. But the meditative mind discovers here an 
exemplification of a truth of profound importance and 
high value, though one that is now generally lost sight of. 
We refer to the universality of God's rule; the absolute 
control which he has over His creatures; the ease with 
which He can move men to accomplish His will. Gk>d has 
access to all minds and can impress them by a dream, an 
affliction, or in any way He thinks proper. In the above 

196 Gleanings in Genesis 

case Qod used a dream to instruct Abimelech, to show him 
the wrong he had unconsciously done, and to point out to 
him his immediate duty. Abimelech was a Philistine, and, 
so far as we know to the contrary, a heathen* He knew 
nothing of the fact that Sarah was the one chosen to be the 
mother of the Jewish race, and the one from whom, accord- 
ing to the flesh, the Messiah was to come. Appearances 
seemed to show that Jehovah's purpose was in immediate 
danger of being foiled. But how simply Qod dealt with the 
situation! By means of a dream, nothing more, Sarah is 
delivered, the seeming hindrances to God's purpose is re- 
moved, the situation is saved ! What we here desire to em- 
phasize is the perfect ease with which God can move men 
when He pleases. All this modern talk about man's '^free- 
dom" and man's going his own way in defiance of God's 
secret counsels leaves Qod out entirely. To say that God 
wants to influence men but that men will not let Him is to 
reduce the Almighty to a helpless spectator, full of gracious 
intentions but lacking in power to make them good. But 
what saith the Scriptures t Hear them : * * The king 's heart 
is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water : He tum- 
eth it whithersoever He will" (Prov. 21: 1). Yes, and so 
easily can He turn the king's heart, that when He pleases 
He needs employ nothing more than a *' dream"! 

''And God said unto him in a dream. Yea, I know that 
thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also 
withheld thee from sinning against Me : therefore suffered 
I thee not to touch her" (Gen. 20: 6). In these words we 
have (as so often in Scripture) an apparently incidental 
statement which throws great light upon a difficult problem 
and which positively refutes the proud reasoning of the 
philosophic theologians. How often it has been said that 
in endowing Adam with the power of choice Qod was un- 
able to prevent his fall. But how untenable are such theo- 
rizings in the face of the above passage! If God could 
** withhold" Abimelech from sinning against Him, then had 
He pleased He could have done the same with our first par- 
ents. Should it be asked why He did not "withhold" 
Adam from sinning, the answer must be that He permitted 
sin to enter that opportunity might be given to display His 

''Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and 
called all his servants, and told all these things in their 

Abraham at Gerar 197 

ears and the men were sore afraid. Then Abimeleeh called 
Abraham, and said unto him. What hast thou done unto us f 
and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on 
me and on my kingdom a great sin f thou hast done deeds 
unto me that ought not to be done" (Gen. 20: 8, 9). It is 
important to note that Abimeleeh recognized fornication as 
a '^ great sin." Unquestionably the heathen are aware of 
the criminality of many of the sinful acts which they com- 
mit — ^'^ their conscience also bearing witness, and their 
thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one an- 
other" (Rom. 2:15). 

A brief consideration of one other thought and our space 
is exhausted. Notice how differently God looked at and 
spoke of Abraham from Abimeleeh 's words concerning him 
— ^*'Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a 
prophet, and he shall pray for thee and thou shalt live." 
All that Abimeleeh saw in our patriarch was a man guilty 
of barefaced deception. But Gk>d looked at Abraham in 
Christ, and therefore speaks of him as a ^'prophet" (one 
who has His mind), and makes Abimeleeh debtor to his 
prayers ! This is how God ever vindicates His own before 
the unbelieving. It was a similar case to what He said 
through Balaam concerning Israel at a later date — ^''He 
hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen 
perverseness in Israel" (Num. 23: 21). In some such way 
as this is now being answered on high the charges of the 
enemy who accuses the brethren before God day and night. 
Oh! blessed fact, ** There is therefore now no condemnation 
to them which are in Christ Jesus." Will this encourage 
careless living? God forbid, **For sin shall not have do- 
minion over you : for ye are not under the law, but under 



It is to be feared that many who read the Old Testament, 
particularly its earlier boohsi, look upon these Scriptures 
as little more than historical narratives, as simply contain- 
ing a description of certain events that happened in the far 
distant past, and that when they come to the record of the 
lives of the patriarchs they discover nothing beyond a piece 
of ancient biography. But surely this is very dishonoring 
to Gk)d. Is it not obvious that when we relegate to a remote 
date in the past what we are told about Abraham, Isaac, 
Joseph, etc., and see in the inspired record little or nothing 
applicable to ourselves today, that we virtually and prac- 
tically reduce Genesis to a de(id book? Suppose we express 
this in another way: If Genesis is a part of ''The Word 
of Life'' (Phil. 2:16), then it is a living book, charged 
with vitality; a book which must have about it a freshness 
which no other book, outside of the Sacred Canon, pos- 
sesses ; a book which speaks to our day, which is pertinent 
and applicable to our own times. 

Let us now follow out another line of thought which will 
lead us to the same point at which we arrived at the close 
of the preceding paragraph. One truth which Scripture 
reveals about God is, that He changes not, for He is ''the 
same yesterday, and today, and forever. *' Therefore, it 
follows that, fundamentally, His ways are ever the same; 
that is to say, He deals through all time with men, especially 
His own people, upon the same principles. It is this which 
explains the well-known fact that so often history repeats 
itself. Having stated the broad principle, let us now apply 
it. If what we have just said is correct, should we not ex- 
pect to find that God 's dealings with Abraham forecast and 
foreshadow His dealings with ust Thai, stripped of their 
incidental details, the experiences of Abraham illustrate our 
experiences f Grant this, and we reach a similar conclusion 
(as we anticipated) to the one expressed at the close of the 
preceding paragraph. Let us now combine the two concep- 

Because the Bible is a living book no portion of it is 
obsolete, and though much that is recorded in it is ancient. 


Abraham "the Father of us all" 199 

yet none of it is antiqtuited. Because the Bible is a living 
book, every portion of it has some message which is appli* 
cable and appropriate to our own times. Because Gkxi 
changes not, His ways of old are, fundamentally, His ways 
today. Hence, God's dealings with Abraham, in the gen- 
eral, foreshadow His dealings with us. Therefore, to read 
most profitably the record of Abraham's life, we must see 
in it a portrayal of our own spiritual history. Before we 
attempt to particularize, let us take one other starting point 
and lead up to the place where we here leave off. 

''Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to 
the end the promise might be sure to all the seed ; not to 
that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of 
the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all" (Bom. 
4:16). JErotf;is Abraham the ''father" of wall t InwJiat 
sense is he suchf Not, of course, literally, by procreation, 
but figuratively, by lypification. Just as naturally the son 
inherits certain traits from his father, just as there is a 
resemblance between them, just as Adam "begat a son in 
his own likeness, after his image" (Gen. 5 : 3) , so there is a 
resemblance and likeness between Abraham and those who 
are "Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise" 
(Gal. 3: 29). In a word, Abraham is to be regarded as a 
sample believer. Thus there will be a close correspondence, 
in the broad outline, between Abraham's history and ours. 
And here, once more, we reach the same point as at the 
dose of each of the above paragraphs. We are now pre- 
pared to test the accuracy of these conclusions and follow 
them out in some detail. 

I read, then, the life of Abraham as recorded in (Genesis, 
not merely as a piece of inspired history (though truly it 
is such), not as an obsolete narrative of something which 
happened in the far distant past, but also, and specially, as 
a portrayal of the experiences of Abraham 's children in all 
ages, and as a description of God's dealings with His own 
in all time. To particularize : What was Abraham at the 
beginning? A lost sinner; one who knew not Gk>d; an 
idolater. So were we: "Wherefore remember, that ye 
being in time past Gentiles .... that at that time ye were 
without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of 
Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, hav- 
ing no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:11, 
12). What happened? The Gtod of glory appeared unto 

200 Gleanings in Genesis 

him (Acts 7:2). So it was with us. He revealed Himself 
to us. What was the next thing? God's call to Abraham 
to separate himself from everything which pertained to his 
old life. Such is God's call to us — ^to separate ourselves 
from the world and everything of it. Did Abraham obey t 
At first only imperfectly. Instead of leaving his kindred 
as commanded, Terah his father and Lot his nephew accom^ 
panied him as he left Chaldea. Has this no voice for usf 
Does it not solemnly condemn Abraham's '^ children"? Has 
not our response to God 's call of separation been tardy and 
partial t To proceed : Soon after Abraham arrived in Ca- 
naan painful circumstances try his faith — a ** famine" 
arose. How did this affect himf Did he make known his 
need to God and look to Him to meet it f Ah, can we not 
supply the answer from our own sad experience t Have we 
not turned to the world for help and deliverance in the 
hour of emergency, as Abraham turned to Egypt? See 
Abraham again in Genesis 16. He is childless. God has 
promised that his seed should inherit the land. But years 
have passed and Sarah is still barren. What does Abrahion 
do t Does he patiently wait upon God and go on waiting t 
Suppose the Bible had not told us, could not our own ex- 
perience supply the answer once more? Abraham has re- 
course to fleshly means, and drags in Hagar to <i$sist God 
( f ) in the furtherance of His purpose. And what was the 
outcome? Did Ood lose patience? Well He might. But 
did He cast off His erring child ? Has He dealt thus with 
us? No, indeed, **If we believe not, yet He abideth faith- 
ful" (2 Tim. 2: 13). We need not review Abraham's life 
any further. Do you not see now, dear reader, why Abra- 
ham is termed the ^^ father of us all"? Is not the saying of 
the world — ^''Like father, like son" — ^true here? But let 
us look at one other line in the picture ere we leave it. 
Look at Abraham in Genesis 22, offering up Isaac. Does 
this apply to us ? Is there anything in the experiences of 
Christians today which corresponds with the scene enacted 
on Mount Moriah ? Surely, but note when this occurred — 
not at the beginning, but near the close of Abraham's pil- 
grimage. Ah! life's discipline had not been in vain: the 
fire had done its work, the gold had been refined. At the 
last Abraham had reached the place where he is not only 
willing to give up Terah and Lot at the call of God, but 
where he is ready to lay his Isaac upon the altar ! In other 

Abraham "the Father of us all" 201 

words, he resigns all to Gk)d, and places at His feet the dear- 
est idol of his heart. Grace had triumphed^ for grace alone 
can bring the human heart into entire submission to the 
Divine will. So will grace triumph with us in the end. 
See, then, in Abraham's up and down experiences, his 
trials, his failures, a representation of yours. See in Qod 's 
patient dealings with Abraham a portrayal of His dealings 
with you. See in the final triumph of grace in Abraham the 
promise of its ultimate triumph in you, and thus will Gen- 
esis be a living book by translating it into the present. 

Deeply important are the lessons to be learned from the 
life of Abraham, and many are the precious truths which 
are seen illustrated in his character and career. Having 
looked at him as a simple believer, let us next consider him 
as a Man of Faith. In Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter, 
Abraham is given striking prominence. Only once do we 
read "By faith Isaac,'' and only once do we read **By faith 
Jacob ' ' ; but three times the faith of Abraham is mentioned 
(see vs. 8, 9, 17). Probably it is no exaggeration to say 
that Abraham 's faith was tried more severely, more repeat- 
edly, and more varisomely than that of any other human 
being. First, he was called upon to leave the land of his 
birth, to separate himself from home and kindred, and to 
set out on a long journey unto a land which God promised 
to * * show ' ' him, and, we are told, ' ' he went out not knowing 
whither he went. ' ' After his arrival in the new land he did 
not enter into occupation of it, but instead, sojourned there 
as a stranger and pilgrim. All that he ever owned in it was 
a burying-place. Dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, 
he remained there well-nigh a century. Again, his faith 
was tested in connection with God 's promise to give him a 
son by Sarah. His own body *'dead,'' and his wife long 
past the age of child-bearing, nevertheless "he staggered 
not at the promise of God through unbelief ; but was strong 
in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded 
that, what He had promised. He was able also to perform'' 
(Rom. 4: 20, 21). Finally, the supreme test came when he 
was bidden to offer up his son Isaac, but, "By faith Abra- 
ham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac : and he that had 
received the promises offered up his only begotten son .... 
accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from 
the dead" (Heb. 11:17, 19). 

202 Gleanings in Genesis 

But did Abraham's faith never waiver f Alas, it did. 
He was a man of like passions to ourselves, and in him, too, 
there was an evil heart of unbelief. The Spirit of Qod has 
faithfully portrayed the dark as well as the fair side, and 
were it not that we are painfully conscious of the tragic 
history of our own spiritual lives, we might well marvel at 
the strange mingling of faith and unbelief, obedience and 
disobedience. By faith Abraham obeyed when Qod called 
him to leave Chaldea ; yes, but by unbelief he disobeyed in 
that his father and nephew accompanied him in direct con- 
travention of Jehovah 's express command. By faith he left 
Chaldea, but by unbelief he stopped short at Haran (Gen. 
11: 31). By faith he entered the land of promise, but as 
soon as a famine arose he forsook it and went down to 
Egypt (Qen. 12: 10). By faith he returned and sojourned 
in the land of promise, but by unbelief he took to himself 
the maid Hagar rather than wait for Gk>d to put forth His 
power and give him a son by Sarah. By faith he went forth 
against Chedorlaomer and his armies to rescue Lot, but later, 
by unbelief he lied to Abimelech about his wife (Qten. 20: 
21). What a sad exemplification is all this of the two na- 
tures in the believer ! 

How terribly inconsistent are the lives of Qod's saints! 
By faith Israel crossed the Red Sea, but a little later, in 
unbelief, they feared they had been brought into the wil- 
derness to perish froin hunger. With heart stayed upon 
the Lord, David feared not to engage the mighty Gk>liath, 
yet the time came when he fled from Saul. Filled with 
confidence in Jehovah, Elijah, single-handed, faced the four 
hundred prophets of Baal, but within a few hours he ran 
in terror from an angry woman. Peter was not afraid to 
step out on to the sea, nor was he intimated in the presence 
of the Roman soldiers, but drew his sword and smote off 
the ear of the high priest's servant; yet, the same night, 
he trembled before a maid and dared not to confess his Lord. 
Oh! the Qod dishonoring ways of unbelief! Unbelief I 
Surely this is the sin which doth so easily beset us. 

Do not the above histories and their sequels bring out the 
marvelous and gracious long-suffering of Him with whom 
we have to do t How patiently God deals with His people I 
Israel did nx>t perish with hunger in the wilderness, even 
though they murmured against God ; instead, they were fed 
with ''angel's food" (Ps. 78 : 25) ! David was not slain by 

Abraham "the Father of us all" 203 

Saul, even though he did flee from him; instead, he was 
afterwards exalted to the throne of Israel 1 Elijah did not 
fall a victim to the wrath of Jezebel, though his faith did 
fail him ; instead, he was afterwards taken to heaven with- 
out seeing death at all ! Peter was not disowned because he 
denied his Lord, nay, after his restoration, he had the 
signal honor of opening the door of the kingdom both to 
the Jews and to the Gtentiles! So it was with Abraham. 
Gk>d did not abandon him when his faith faltered, but dealt 
gently and patiently with him, leading him on step by 
step, disciplining him in the school of experience, until by 
wondrous grace He enabled him to do by faith on Mount 
Moriah that which was a type of Calvary itself ! 

The divine dealings with Abraham wonderfully demon- 
strated Ood^s Sovereignty. A unique honor was conferred 
upon our patriarch, for he was chosen by Gk>d to be the fa- 
ther of the chosen nation, that nation from which, accord- 
ing to the flesh, Christ was to come. And mark how Gk)d's 
Sovereignty was displayed in the character of the one se- 
lected by Him. There was nothing in Abraham by nature 
to commend him to Jehovah. By descent he belonged to a 
family of idolaters. Ere he left Chaldea, in response to 
Gk)d's call, he entered into an evil compact with his wife 
(Gen. 12: 7). As though to give special emphasis to their 
unworthinesSf Qo<l said to Israel, ^^Look unto Abraham, 
your father, and unto Sarah that bore you : for I called him 
alone — look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the 
hole of the pit whence ye are digged" (Isa. 51 : 2, 1). And 
Abraham, the father of us all, was a pattern or sample case. 
God's choice before the foundation of the world was not 
determined by any good or merit foreseen in ourselves. 
Election itself is of ^* grace** (Bom. 11:5). It is all of 
grace from beginning to end, sovereign grace, gratuitous 
grace, matchless grace. 

Consider next Abraham as an object of God 's Love. The 
history of our patriarch was one of strange vicissitudes. 
On no flowery beds of ease was he permitted to luxuriate. 
Painful were the trials he was called upon to endure. Again 
and again he passed through the waters and the fire, but 
there was ever One by him that forsook him not. As the 
father of them that believe, Abraham was, as we have seen, 
a representative believer. In kind though not in character 
the experiences of Abraham are the same we meet with. 

204 Gleanings in Genesis 

Faith has to be tried that it may work patience: the gold 
has to be put in the crucible that it may be refined. Gtod 
had one Son without sin, but none without suffering €aid 
sorrow. Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourg- 
eth every son whom He receiveth. First, Abraham had to 
endure the severance of nature's ties; at the call of Qod 
he had to leave home and kindred. And the word comes to 
us, too, * ' He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is 
not worthy of Me*' (Matt. 10: 37). Called to leave the land 
of his birth, to be a stranger and pilgrim in a foreign land, 
he was taught, as we are, that ^'Our citizenship is in heav- 
en'' (Phil. 3:20). The **strife'' which arose between the 
herdmen of Abraham and Lot, necessitating the separation 
between our patriarch and his nephew, illustrates the fact 
that the path of faith is ofttimes a lonesome one, and that 
frequently we are obliged to walk apart from those loved 
by the flesh. The years of waiting that Abraham experi- 
enced ere the longing of his heart was gratified and a son 
was given him, exemplified that lesson, so hard to learn, 
that we must wait only upon Him with our expectation 
from Him. Finally, as Abraham was called upon to relin- 
quish his Isaac and offer to God his only son, so we are re- 
quired to place our all at His disposal, and in doing this 
we shall not be the losers any more than Abraham was. 
See, then, the love of God exercised toward the father of all 
who believe; love displayed in faithful chastening, and 
issuing in the peaceable fruit of righteousness. 

There are many facets to this precious jewel. We have 
noted how God's long-sufferance, His sovereignty. His love 
were manifested toward Abraham ; now observe His match- 
less grace. Is not this the only appropriate word to use 
here? Was it not grace that made Abraham the ** friend of 
Gk)d"f Oh, wondrous condescension that should stoop so 
low as to lay hold of a worm of the earth ! Oh, matchless 
benignity that should bring one of His own creatures into 
such intimate relationship with Himself! Oh, undeserved 
and unmerited favor that made him * * the friend of God ' ' ! 
And mark how this friendship was exhibited. See how the 
Lord makes known to His '^ friend" what shall happen to 
his descendants for a long time (Gen. 15:13-16). Mark, 
again, how He takes him into His confidence and counsels 
respecting what He was about to do with Sodom (Gen. 18: 
17). Observe the Lord in intimate fellowship with Abra- 

Abraham "the Father of us all" 205 

ham, eating and drinking at his board (Gen. 18:8). Fi- 
nally, consider how marvelously God took him into the 
fellowship of His heart (Gten. 22). Probably no other 
human being ever entered so deeply into the meaning and 
movements of the Father's heart at Calvary as did Abra- 
ham on Mount Moriah. 

In the last place, let us look upon Abraham as a typical 
character. We do not know of any Old Testament person- 
age who was such a multifarious type as was Abraham. 
First, he was a type of the Father. This is seen in his de- 
sire for children (compare Eph. 1:5); in his making a 
*' feast'' at the weaning of Isaac (compare Matt. 22: 2-4) ; 
in the offering up of nis only son Isaac (compare John 3: 
16) ; in his sending for a bride for his son (compare Rev. 
21:9); in appointing his son heir of all things (25:5). 
Second, Abraham was a type of Christ. This is seen in 
him leaving his father's house at the call of God; in that 
he is the one in whom all the families of the earth are to 
be blessed; in that he is the kinsman — redeemer of Israel; 
in that he is the holder of headship of the nations. Third, 
he is a type of the Church. This is seen, particularly, in 
that he was a stranger and pilgrim in the earth. Observe 
that though he left his home in Chaldea he did not find an- 
other in Canaan ; instead, he was the man of the tent. Note 
how this comes out toward the end of his life. When he 
needed a burying-place he purchased it of the children of 
Heth (Gen. 23: 3, 4). He preferred to buy it rather than 
receive it as a gift from these worldlings. He would not 
be enriched by them any more than he would be a debtor 
to and accept favors from the king of Sodom. The stranger- 
ship of Abraham was also displayed in the seeking of a wife 
for Isaac. He was a stranger in Canaan, so he sent to 
Haran! Thus, though he tabernacled in Canaan, he was 
sharply distinguished from the people of the land — ^he was 
among them but not of them. Fourth, Abraham was a type 
of Israel. This is seen in that he was the one to whom God 
gave Palestine ; the one with whom God entered into a cove- 
nant; the one who was divinely preserved while dwelling 
in a strange country (Gen. 20) ; the one who, after a 
checkered career, was supematurally quickened in old age, 
and the one who was ultimately joined to the Gentiles 
(Gten. 23). 

206 Gleanings in Genesis 

May divine grace enable writer and reader to walk by 
faith and not by sight, to live in complete separation from 
the world as strangers and pilgrims, to render unto Qod a 
more prompt and unreserved obedience, to submit to His 
will and hold all at His disposal, and then shall we find with 
Abraham that the path of the just shineth more and more 
unto the perfect day. 


Genesis 21 

The birth of Isaac marked a pivotal point in the outwork- 
ing of Gk>d's eternal purpose. The coming of this son to 
Abraham and Sarah was the second great step toward the 
fulfillment of Jehovah's plan. This purpose and plan was 
to have a people of His own, separate from the surrounding 
nations; a people to whom should be entrusted the H0I7 
Oracles, a people of whom as concerning the flesh the Sav- 
iour was to be bom; a people who should ultimately be- 
come the medium of blessing to all the earth. In the reali- 
zation of this plan and purpose the first great step was the 
selection of Abram to be the father of the chosen nation, 
the call which separated him from the idolatrous people 
among whom he lived, and the migration unto the land 
which Jehovah promised to give him. 

Some twenty-five years had now passed since Abram had 
left Ur of the Chaldees, and during these years he had re- 
eeived promise from the Lord that He would make of him 
a great nation (Gen. 12:2) and that He would make his 
seed as the dust of the earth (Oen. 13 : 16) . But years went 
by and Abram remained childless: the promised seed had 
not been given and Abram was exercised and perplexed. 
''And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, 
seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this 
Eliezar of Damascus t And Abram said, Behold, to me 
Thou hast given no seed : and, lo, one bom in my house is 
mine heir'' (Gen. 15:2, 3). To these questions the Lord 
returned answer, ''This shall not be thine heir; but he 
that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine 
heir" (Qen. 15:4). Another interval passed and yet no 
child appeared, and ' ' Sarai said unto Abram, Behold, now, 
the Lord hath restrained me from bearing : I pray thee, go 
in unto my maid ; it may be that I may obtain children by 
her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai, and he 
went in unto Hagar, and she conceived'' (Gen. 16:2, 4). 
A further thirteen years dragged their weary course and 


208 Gleanings in Genesis 

' ' Gk)d said unto Abraham, as for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt 
not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And 
I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her : yea^ I will 
bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations : Kings of 
people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, 
and laughed, and said in his heart. Shall a child be bom 
unto him that is a hundred years oldf And shall Sarah, 
that is ninety years old, bearf And Abraham said unto 
God, O that Ishmael might live before Theel And God 
said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and 
thou shalt call his name Isaac" (Oen. 17: 15-19). Shortly 
after this the Lord, accompanied by two angels, appeared 
unto His servant in the plains of Mamre and, ''they said 
unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife f And he said. Behold, 
in the tent. And He said, I will certainly return unto thee 
according to the time of life ; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall 
have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was 
behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well 
stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the 
manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within her- 
self, saying. After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my 
lord being old alsot And the Lord said unto Abraham, 
Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear 
a child, which am old t Is any thing too hard for the Lord f 
At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to 
the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son" (Gen. 18: 

And now the appointed hour for the fulfillment of Gk)d's 
promises to Abraham and Sarah had struck, and we read, 
' ' And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord 
did unto Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived, 
and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of 
which God had spoken to him" (Gen. 21:12). Thus we 
reach, as we have said, the second stage in the accomplish- 
ment of Jehovah's purpose. The birth of Isaac marked an 
important crisis in connection with the history of the chosen 
line, for not in Ishmael but in Isaac was Abraham 's seed to 
be called (Gen. 21:12). 

Many are the important truths illustrated in the above 
Scriptures, and many are the profitable lessons to be 
learned therefrom. We name a few of them without at- 
tempting to enlarge. We see from the above that Ood is 
in no hurry in the working out of His plans. Man may fret 

The Birth of Isaac 209 

and fume, hurry and bustle, but Jehovah has all eternity 
at His disposal and works leisurely and with deliberation. 
Well for us to mark this attentively — ^''he that believeth 
shall not make haste" (Is. 28:16). Again, we note here 
Ood's Almightiness. Nothing can hinder or thwart the out- 
working of His purpose. Abraham may be old, Sarah may 
be barren, but such trifles present no difficulty to Him who 
is infinite in power. Abraham may seek to obtain an heir 
through Hagar, but Jehovah's plan cannot be foiled: 
Sarah's son shaU he his heir, not Ishmael. Behold, too, the 
faithfulness of God. The Lord had said Sarah shaU have a 
son, and what He promised He performed. His promise 
may seem unreasonable and impossible to the carnal mind, 
but His word is sure. Learn, also, how faith is tried and 
tested. This is in order to display its genuineness. A faith 
that is incapable of enduring trial is no faith at all. A hard 
thing was promised to Abraham but, ' ' he considered not his 
own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years 
old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah 's womb : he staggered 
not at the promise of Qod through unbelief, but was strong 
in faith, giving glory to God" (Rom. 4: 19, 20). Finally, 
note that Ood has a set time for the accomplishing of His 
will and the fulfilling of His word. Nothing is left to 
chance. Nothing is contingent on the creature. Everything 
is definitely fixed beforehand by Qod. *'For Sarah con- 
ceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set 
time of which God had spoken to him" (Gen. 21 : 2). Mark 
how this is emphasized by repetition — ^''But my covenant 
will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee 
at this set time in the next year" (Gen. 17: 21) ; ^^At the 
time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the 
time of life, and Sarah shall have a son" (Gen. 18 : 14) . So 
also we read in another connection, *'For the vision is yet 
for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak" (Hab. 
2:3). Compare Gal. 4 : 4. 

Isaac was the child of promise. The Lord took great 
interest in the birth of this boy. More was said about him 
before his birth than about any other, excepting only 
Abraham's greater Son. God first made promise to Abra- 
ham ; ' ' As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name 
Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, 
and give thee a son also of her" (Gen. 17:15, 16). The 
response of the aged patriarch is recorded in the next verse 

210 Gleanings in Genesis 


Then Abraham fell upon his face, and langhed." Later, 
the promise was renewed in the hearing of Sarah, ' ^ And He 
said I will certainly return unto thee according to the time 
of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son" (Qen. 
18:10). Then we are told, '' Therefore Sarah laughed 
within herself, saying. Shall I of a surety bear a child, 
which am old?" How reason ever opposes the promises of 
God. The ^ daughter" of Abraham was the laughter of 
worshipful joy, that of Sarah was credulous unbelief. There 
is a laughter which the Lord fills the mouth with, when, at 
some crisis. He comes to our relief. ''When the Lord 
turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that 
dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our 
tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, 
the Lord hath done great things for them" (Ps. 126 : 112). 
But there is also the laughter of cynicism and unbelief. The 
former we are not afraid to avow ; the latter makes us, like 
Sarah, cowards and liars. But are we not told ''Through 
faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, 
and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because 
she judged him faithful who had promised" (Heb. 11: 11). 
How shall we harmonize this with her laugh of unbelief? 
To the infidel this would appear a contradiction, but the 
believer has no difficulty in reconciling these two, for he 
knows from experience there is a continual struggle going 
on in his heart between faith and unbelief, sometimes the 
one and sometimes the other being uppermost. But is it 
not beautiful and blessed to note that in the New Testament 
Sarah 's unbelief is passed over, just as nothing is said there 
of Bahab's deception (Heb. 11: 31), or of Job's impatience 
(Jas. 5:11). 

Isaac was the child of miracle. Sarah's womb was ^^dead*^ 
(Bom. 4:19) and ere she could conceive a supernatural 
"strength" must be given her (Heb. 11: 11). In this, of 
course, we discover a foreshadowment of the miraculous 
birth of the Lord Jesus — ^now, alas, so generally denied. 
We are tempted to digress here but must refrain. Certain 
it is that the vital importance of the virgin birth of our 
Saviour cannot be overestimated. Well did Sir Bobert 
Anderson say, "The whole Christian system depends upon 
the truth of the last verse of Matthew one" ("The Coming 
Prince"). Betuming to the miraculous birtli of Isaac, do 
we not see in it, as also in the somewhat similar cases of 

The Birth of Isaac 211 

Bachel, the mother of Samson, Hannah, and Elisabeth, not 
only a foreshadowing of the supernatural birth of Christ, 
but also the gracious way of God in preparing Israel to 
believe in it, facilitating faith in the Divine incarnation. If 
God quickened a dead womb and caused it to bear, why 
should it be thought a thing incredible if He made the 
virgin give birth to the Child ! 

The birth of Christ was markedly foreshadowed by that 
of Isaac and this in seven ways at least. First, Isaac was 
the promised seed and son (Gkn. 17 : 16) ; so also was 
Christ (Gen. 3: 15; Is. 7: 14). Second, a lengthy interval 
occurred between Qod's first promise to Abraham and its 
realization. When we are told, ''And the Lord visited 
Sarah as he had said'' (Gen. 21: 1), the immediate refer- 
ence is to 17 : 16 and 18 : 14, but the remote reference was to 
the original promise of 12 : 7. So also was there a lengthy 
interval between God's promise to send Christ and the 
actual fulfillment of it. Third, when Isaac 's birth was an- 
nounced, his mother asked, ''Shall I of a surety bear a 
child, which am oldf " (Gen. 18: 13), to which the answer 
was returned, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" and 
the striking analogy is seen in the fact that when the angel 
of the Lord made known unto Mary that she was to be the 
mother of the Saviour, she asked, ' ' How shall this be, seeing 
I know not a manf" (Luke 1:34), to which query the 
answer was returned, "With God nothing shall be impos- 
sible '^ (Luke 1:37) : so that in each case God's omnipO" 
tency was a£Brmed following the annunciation of the birth 
of the child. Fourth, Isaac's name was specified before he 
was bom — ^"And thou shalt call his name Isaac" {Qen. 
17 : 19) ; compare with this the words of the angel to Joseph 
before Christ was bom — "And thou shalt call his name 
Jesus" (Matt. 1:21)1 Fifth, Isaac's birth occurred at 
God's appointed time (Gen. 21:2) "at the set time"; so 
also in connection with the Lord Jesus we read ' ' But when 
the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, bom 
of a woman" (Gal. 4:4). Sixth, as we have seen above, 
Isaac's birth required a miracle to bring it about; so also 
was it with the incarnation of ImmanueL Seventh, the 
name Isaac (given unto him by Abraham and not Sarah, 
Gten. 21 : 3), which means laughter, declared him to be his 
father^s delight; so also was the one bom at Bethlehem — 
"this is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. " Need 

212 Gleanings in Genesis 

we remark how strikingly this sevenfold type evidences the 
Divine inspiration of Scripture, and demonstrates that the 
book of Genesis — so much attacked by the critics — ^was writ- 
ten by one * * moved by the Holy Spirit. ' ' 

It has been noticed by others that in Abraham we have a 
striking illustration of election, while in Isaac we get, 
typically, the precious truth of sonship. Abraham was the 
one chosen and called by Gtod ; Isaac was the one promised 
and born of God's power. The historical order of Genesis 
is thus the doctrinal order of the New Testament. Thus we 
read in Eph. 1 : 4, 5, *^ According as He hath chosen us in 
Him before the foundation of the worlds that we should be 
holy and without blame before Him: in love having pre- 
destinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ 
to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." 
Isaac brings before us in type regeneration, and it is this 
which will now engage our attention. 

The first point we would here dwell upon is that before 
Isaac was bom the power and activities of nature were made 
an end of. Abraham and Sarah had come to the end of 
themselves. Abraham's body was ''dead," and so too was 
Sarah's womb (Bom. 4: 19). And in order for Isaac to be 
bom that which was dead must be quickened, quickened by 
God. This is a very humbling truth; one which is thor- 
oughly distasteful to man ; one which nothing but the grace 
of God will enable us to receive. The stat^ of the natural 
man is far worse than he imagines. It is not only that man 
is a sinner, a sinner both by nature and by practice, but 
that he is ^^ alienated from the life of God" (Eph. 4: 18). 
In a word the sinner is dead— dead in trespasses and sins. 
As the father said of the prodigal, ' ' This my son was dead, 
and is alive again; he was lost, and is found" (Luke 

That the natural man is dead in trespasses and sins is no 
mere figure of speech ; it is a solemn reality, an awful fact. 
It is ignorance and the denial of this fact which lies at the 
root of so much of the false teaching of our day. What the 
natural man needs first and foremost is not education or 
reformation, but life. It is because the sinner is dead that 
he needs to be born again. But how little this is pressed 
today ! The unspeakably dreadful state of the natural man 
is glossed over where it is not directly repudiated. For the 
most part our preachers seem afraid to insist upon the utter 

The Birth of Isaac 213 

ruin and total depravity of human nature. This is a fatal 
defect in any preaching : sinners will never be brought to 
see their need of a Saviour until they realize their lost con- 
dition, and they will never discover their lost condition until 
they learn that they are dead in sin. 

But what does Scripture mean when it says the sinner 
is ' ' dead ' ' f This is something which seems absurd to the 
natural man. And to him it is absurd. ' ' The natural man 
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for they are 
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because 
they are spiritually discerned '* (1 Cor. 2:14). To the 
natural man it seems that he is very much alive. Yes, and 
Scripture itself speaks of one that lives in pleasure as being 
**dead while she liveth^' (1 Tim. 5:6). Herein lies the key 
to the meaning of that expression employed by our Lord 
in His teaching upon the Good Samaritan. Describing the 
condition of the natural man under the figure of one who 
had fallen among thieves, who had stripped him of his 
raiment and left him wounded by the wayside, the Saviour 
termed him *^half dead** (Luke 10:30). Mark then the 
absolute accuracy of Christ's words. The sinner is **half 
dead'': he is alive manward, worldward, sin ward, but he 
is dead Oodwardl The sinner is alive naturally — physically, 
mentally, morally — but he is dead spiritually. That is why 
the new birth is termed a ''passing from death unto life" 
(John 5: 24). And just as the deadness of Abraham and 
Sarah — in their case natural deadness, for they but fore- 
shadowed spiritual truths — ^had to be quickened by Otod 
before Isaac could be bom, so has the sinner to be quickened 
by God into newness of life before he can become a son of 
Qod. And this leads us to say. 

Second, before Isaac could be bom God had to perform 
a miracle. As we have said, Abraham's body was "dead" 
and Sarah was long past the age of child-bearing. How 
then could they have a son t Sarah laughed at the mention 
of such a thing. But what was beyond the reach of nature 's 
capacity was fully within the scope of Divine power. **l8 
there anything too hard for the Lord f ' ' (Gen. 18 : 14) . No, 
indeed. ''Ah, Lord God, behold! Thou hast made the 
heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out 
arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee" (Jer. 32 : 17). 

As it was with Isaac so it is with every Christian. Before 
any of us could be bom again God had to work a miracle. 

214 Gleanings in Genesis 

Make no mistake on this point ; regeneration is the direct 
result of the supernatural operation of God. This needs to 
be stressed today, for regeneration has been so misrepre- 
sented by modem evangelists that to the popular mind the 
'^new birth" signifies nothing more than a process of 
reformation. But the new birth is no mere turning over 
of a new leaf and the endeavor to live a better life. The 
new birth is very much more than going forward in a reli- 
gious meeting and taking the preacher's hand; very much 
more than signing a card and ' ' joining the church. ' ' The 
new birth is an act of Gk)d's creative power, the impartation 
of spiritual lif e, the communication to us of the Divine na- 
ture itself. 

Abraham and his wife — each of them nearly a hundred 
years old— desiring a son — ^what could they do f Nothing I 
absolutely nothing. Gk>d had to come in and work a miracle. 
And thus nature had nothing to glory in. So it is with us. 
The natural man is not only a sinner, a lost sinner, but he is 
a helpless sinner — ^impotent, unable to do anything of him- 
self. If help comes it must come from outside of himself. 
He is, like Abraham and Sarah, shut up to Ood. 

Third, the coming of Isaac into Abraham's household 
aroused opposition and produced a conflict. ''And Sarah 
saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had borne 
unto Abraham, mocking^* (Qen. 21 : 9) . In the epistle to the 
Galatians we are shown the dispensational meaning and 
application of this, and there we read, ' ' But as then he that 
was born after the flesh (Ishmael) persecuted him that was 
bom after the Spirit, even so it is now** (Gal. 4: 29) ; but 
it is with the individual application of this type that we are 
now concerned. Ishmael exemplifies the one bom after the 
flesh : Isaac the one bom after the Spirit. When Isaac was 
bom the true character of Ishmael was manifested ; and so 
when we are bom again and receive the new nature, the 
old nature, the flesh, then comes out in its true colors. 

Just as there were two sons in Abraham 's household, the 
one the product of nature, the other the gift of God and the 
outworking of Divine power, each standing for a totally 
different principle, so in the believer there are two natures 
which are distinct and diverse. And just as there was a 
conflict between Ishmael and Isaac, so the flesh in us lusteth 
against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh (GaL 

The Birth of Isaac 215 

It is of first importance that the Christian, especially the 
young Christian, should be clear upon the two natures in the 
believer. The new birth is not the improving of the old 
nature, but the receiving of a new; and the receiving of 
the new nature does not in any wise improve the old. Not 
only so, the old and the new natures within the believer 
are in open antagonism the one to the other. We quote now 
from the works of one deeply respected and to which we 
are much indebted : ' ' Some there are who think that regen- 
eration is a certain change which the old nature undergoes ; 
and, moreover, that this change is gradual in its operation 
until, at length, the whole man becomes transformed. That 
this idea is unsound, can be proved by various quotations 
from the New Testament. For example : The carnal mind 
is enmity against God. How can that which is thus spoken 
of ever undergo any improvement f The apostle goes on to 
say, ' ' It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can 
he.^* If it canru>t be subject to the law of God, how can it 
be improved f How can it undergo any change t Do what 
you will with flesh, and it is flesh all the while. As Solomon 
says, ' ^ Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among 
wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from 
him'' (Pro. 27:22). ''There is no use seeking to make 
foolishness wise. You must introduce heavenly wisdom into 
the heart that has been hitherto only governed by folly" 
(C. H. M.). 

Fourth, it is to be noted that it was the birth of Isaac 
which revealed the true character of Ishmael. We know 
practically nothing of Ishmael's life before the birth of 
Isaac, but as soon as this child of promise made his appear- 
ance the real nature of Hagar 's son was made manifest. He 
may have been very quiet and orderly before, but as soon 
as the child of God's quickening-power came on the scene, 
Ishmael showed what he was by persecuting and mocking 
him. Here again the type holds good. It is not until the 
believer receives the new nature that he discovers the real 
character of the old. It is not until we are bom again we 
learn what a horrible and vile thing the flesh is. And the 
discovery is a painful one : to many it is quite unsettling. 
To those who have supposed that regeneration is an »m- 
proving of the old nature, the recognition of the awful 
depravity of the flesh comes as a shock and often destroys 
all peace of soul, for the young convert quickly concludes 

216 Gleanings in Genesis 

that, after all, he has not been bom again. The truth is 
that the recognition of the true character of the flesh and a 
corresponding abhorrence of it, is one of the plainest evi- 
dences of our regeneration, for the unregenerate man is 
blind to the vileness of the flesh. The fact that I have within 
me a conflict between the natural and the spiritual is the 
proof there are two natures present, and that I find the 
Ishmael-nature ^'persecuting" the Isaac-nature is only to be 
expected. That the Ishmael-nature appears to me to be 
growing worse only goes to prove that I now have capacity 
to see its real character, just as the real character of Ishmael 
was not revealed until Isaac was bom. 

Fifth, we read, ^' And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac 
being eight days old, as God had commanded him" (Gkn. 
21 : 4). Our space is exhausted and we must be very brief 
on these last points. The circumcising of Isaac, and later of 
the Israelites, was a foreshadowing of our spiritual circum- 
cision : ' ' And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of 
all principality and power: in whom also ye are drcum- 
cised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting 
off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of 
Chris f (Col. 2: 10, 11). Judicially we have been circum- 
cised and God no longer looks at us in the flesh but in 
Christ, for circumcision — ^typically and spiritually — is sep- 
aration from the flesh, and the eighth day brings us on to 
resurrection ground — in Christ. Compare Col. 3 : 9, etc. 

Sixth, **And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abra- 
ham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was 
weaned" (Gen. 21:8). Here again the type holds good. 
Isaac **grew" by feeding on his mother's milk. Thus, too, 
is it with the believer. By the new birth we are but spiritual 
babes, and our growth is brought about by feeding on the 
milk of the Word. * * As new-bom babes, desires the sincere 
milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby'' (1 Pet. 2:2). 
We cannot now touch upon the signiflcance of the ** great 
feast" above. 

Seventh, ** And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, 
which she had borne unto Abraham mocking. Wherefore 
she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her 
son : for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with 
my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous 
in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto 
Abraham, let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the 

The Birth of Isaac 217 

lad, and because of thy bondwoman ; in all that Sarah hath 
said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall 
thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman 
will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham 
rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of 
water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, 
and the child, and sent her away" (Gen. 21 : 9-14). At last 
tiie conflict is over. He who '* persecuted ' ' Isaac is now 
*^cast out'' (Gal. 4 : 29) . So it will yet be with us. Judicially 
the life of the flesh is already ended for us, but practically it 
is still here with us and in us. But blessed be God what is 
true now judicially shall soon be true experimentally also. 
When Christ returns for us, the flesh shall be put off for 
ever, just as Elijah left behind him his earthly mantle. But 
mark how accurate our type is: not till Isaac "grew" and 
was * * weaned ' ' was the persecuting Ishmael cast out ! Let 
this be our closing thought. Soon our Ishmael shall be cast 
out. Soon shall this vile body of ours be made like unto the 
body of Christ's glory (Phil. 3 : 21) . Soon shall the Saviour 
return and we shall be ^^like Him/' for we shall see Him 
as He is (John 3 : 21) . Blessed promise ! Glorious prospect ! 
Does not the presence of the vile flesh within us now only 
serve to intensify the longing for our blessed Lord 's return t 
Then let us continue to cry daily, *'Come quickly. Even 
so, come Lord Jesus. ' ' 


Genesis 22 

'^And it came to pass after these things, that Gk>d did 
tempt (try) Abraham" (Q«n. 20:1). These words refer 
as back to the context, a context that is rich in typical sig- 
nificance. The immediate context is the twenty-first chapter, 
where we have recorded the Birth of Isaac — ^a remarkable 
type which, with what follows it, needs to be viewed from 
two standpoints : its individual application, and its dispen- 
sational application. In our last paper we considered the 
former, here we shall deal briefly with the latter. 

The birth of Isaac awakened the enmity of Ishmael, and 
in consequence Sarah came to Abraham saying, '*Cast out 
this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bond- 
woman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac'' 
(21 : 10) . From the Epistle to the Galatians (4 : 22-31) W€ 
learn there was a profound meaning to the act here re- 
quested by Sarah, that it possessed a dispensational sig- 
nificance. It is to be noted first that Sarah refers to the 
* ' inheritance ' ' — ^the son of Hagar should not be ' * heir with 
Isaac. ' ' Now Isaac, as we have shown in our last, not only 
foreshadowed the Lord Jesus in His miraculous birth, but 
also pointed forward to those who now become the children 
of Ood through faith in Christ Jesus. In a word, Isaac 
stands for Divine sonship. Only the spiritrial family of 
promise answers to Isaac, and takes the title of ''heirs of 
God and joint heirs with Christ." Israel, nationally, does 
not inherit with the church. Hence, as Isaac in Genesis 21 
foreshadowed those who are members of the Body of Christ, 
Ishmael stands for the Nation of Israel which is now ''cast 
out'* during the time that God is visiting the Gentiles and 
taking from among them a people for His name (Acts 
15: 14). With this key in hand let us turn to the second 
part of Genesis 21 and note how the course of Israel as a 
nation is pursued in the type. 

1. '^And Abraham rose up early in the morning and took 
bread and a bottle of water, and gave unto Hagar, putting 
it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away, and she 
departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba" 
(21 : 14). First we note (and we shall be as brief as pos- 
sible) that Hagar and her son hecams wanderers in the 


The Offering Up of Isaac 219 

wUdemus. How trae the picture. Such has been Israel 's 
portion ever since she rejected Abraham's greater Son, the 
Lord of Glory. Throughout all these centuries, during 
which God has been building the Church, the Jews have 
dwelt in the wilderness, and ''wanderers" well describes 
''the nation of the weary foot ! '' 

2. "And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast 
the child under one of the shrubs" (21: 15). In tjrpe, ths 
Holy Spirit is here taken from Israel— the water was spent. 
This it is which explains the tragic "veil" which is over 
the heart of the Jews as they read the Scriptures (2 Cor. 
3 : 15) , for without the Spirit none can understand or draw 
refreshment from the Word of Qod. 

3. "And she went and sat her down over against him a 
good way off, as it were a bowshot : for she said, Let me not 
see the death of the child. And she sat over against him 
and lifted up her voice and wept*' (21 : 16). We see here a 
foreshadowment of Jerusalem bemoaning her desolations, 
and at this point the lamentations of Jeremiah are most 
appropriate to her condition. O, how the above lype antici- 
pated the i>oor Jews "wailing" before thf gates of Jeru- 

4. "And God heard the voice of the ladj and the angel 
of Gk>d called to Hagar out of heaven and said unto her, 
What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard 
the voice of the lad where he is" (21: 17). And here is 
where hope begins. It is not until the Jew bewails his sins 
(see Hosea 5:15, etc.), confesses his dreadful crime of 
crucifying the Son of God, not until after much bitter 
humiliation they shall cry, "Blessed is He that cometh in 
the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:39), that Jehovah will 
take up again His covenant people. 

5. "And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of 
water; and she went and filled the bottle with water and 
gave liie lad drink" (21: 19). In type the Spirit is given 
once more to Israel. Just as Qod here "opened the eyes of 
Hagar," so in a near-coming day will He open the eyes of 
the Jews, and even during the days of the now rapidly 
approaching tribulation, a pious remnant shall keep the tes- 
timony of Qod and wash their garments in the blood of the 
Lamb (Rev. 14:3, 4; 20:4). 

6. "And Gkxl was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt 
in the wilderness, and became an archer" (21: 20). Couple 

220 Gleanings in Genesis 

with this the promise of verse 18^ ' ' For I will make him a 
great nation/' How accurate the type I Thus it will be 
with Israel in the Millennium after Gtod has taken into favor 
again the chosen race. 

7. '*And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran'' (21: 21). 
Paran means ** Beauty or Glory/' speaking in type of 
Palestine, the dwelling place of Israel in the Millennium, 
when the wilderness shall be made to blossom as the rose, 
for the curse now resting on the material creation shall then 
be removed ; and then the Sh^kinah Glory shall once more 
be in their midst. 

8. '^And his mother took him a wife out of the land of 
Egjrpt^' (21:21). In type this allies Israel with Egypt, 
and thus will it be during the Millennium — ^'^In that day 
shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even 
a blessing in the midst of the land ; whom the Lord of hosts 
shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria 
the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance" (Is. 
19:24, 25). 

9. ' ' And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and 
Phichol the chief captain of his host spoke unto Abraham 
saying, Ood is with thee in all that thou doest" (21:22). 
How this reminds us that in the Millennium the Gentile will 
seek out the Jew, because conscious that Jehovah is once 
more in their midst ! As it is written, ' * Thus saith the Lord 
of hosts, In those days it shall come to pass that ten men 
shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall 
take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, ' ^ We will 
go with you, for we have heard that Ood is with you" 
(Zech. 8:23). 

10. Note the close of this chapter: ''And Abraham 
planted a grove in Beer-Sheba** (21:33). This action of 
the patriarch was deeply significant when viewed typically. 
It marked the change from strangership to possession. Abra- 
ham, who stands figuratively as the federal head of the 
nation plants a ** grove'* in Beer-Sheha, which means, *' Well 
of the oath, ' ' for all is founded upon the Covenant, and thus 
takes possession of the land, for the planting of a tree em- 
blemizes settled and long continuance — ^''They shall not 
build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and an- 
other eat : for as the days of a tree are the days of My peo- 
ple, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands ^ 
(Is. 64:22). 

The Offering Up of Isaac 221 

11. ^'And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-Sheba, and 
called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting Ood^' 
(21: 33). Here Abraham calls not on Jehovah, nor on the 
Almi^^, but on the Lord, ''the Everlasting God." So 
wiU it be when the Kingdom comes in power and glory. 
Instead of ceaseless change and decay in all around we 
see, as now, there shall be fixity, permanence, peace and 
blessing. Then shall Israel say, ''Thou art the same, and 
Thy years shall have no end. The children of Thy servants 
shall continue, and their seed shall be established before 
Thee'' (Is. 102: 27, 28). 

12. One more notice is given to this type and it completes 
the picture — ' ' These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are 
their names, by their towns and by their castles; twelve 
princes according to their nations " ( 25 : 16 ) . In the Millen- 
nium the whole of the twelve tribes of Israel will be restored 
and raised to princely dignity among the nations. 

And now what follows this marvellous sketch of Israel's 
course t — ^for marvellous it surely is to the anointed eye. 
What follows? why, that unparalleled foreshadowing of 
the Saviour's Death and Resurrection. And why this link- 
ing of the two together? To show us, and later the Jews, 
that Israel owes her Millennial blessedness, as we do our 
present and eternal blessings, to the precious Sacrifice of 
the Lamb of God. But we must leave the dispensational 
application of the type, and turn and consider once more 
its individual application. 

In our last article we pointed out how that in seven par- 
ticulars the birth of Isaac was a type of the Birth of the 
Lord Jesus. Now, we arc to see how the offering up of Isaac 
upon the altar pointed forward to the Cross of Calvary. 

This twenty-second chapter of Genesis has ever been a 
favorite one with the saints of God, and our difficulty now 
is to single out for mention that in it which will be most 
precious to our hearts and most profitable for our walk. 
Ere examining it in detail it should be said that this is, we 
believe, the only type in the Old Testament which distinctly 
intimated that God required a human sacrifice. Here it was 
that God first revealed the necessity for a human victim to 
expiate sin, for as it was man that had sinned, it must be by 
man, and not by sacrifice of beasts, that Divine justice 
would be satisfied. 

222 Gleanings in Genesis 

1. '^And He said, ''Take now thy son, thine only son 
Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of 
Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one* 
of the mountains which I will tell thee of" (Gen. 22:2). 
This is one of the very few Old Testament types that brings 
before us not only God the Son but also Ood the Father. 
Here, as nowhere else, are we shown the Father's heart. 
Here it is that we get such a wonderful f oreshadowment of 
the Divine side of Calvary. Ohl how the Spirit of God 
lingers on the offering and the offerer, as if there must be a 
thorough similitude in the type of the antitype — **thy son — 
thine only son — whom thou loves fl Here it is we learn, in 
type how that God ''spared not His own Son" (Bom. 8 : 32). 
Really, this is central in Genesis 22. In this chapter Abra- 
ham figures much more prominently than Isaac — ^Isaac is 
shown simply (and yet how sweetly!) obeying his father's 
will. It is the affections of the father's heart which are 
here displayed most conspicuously. 

2. "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and sad* 
died his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and 
Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, 
and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told 
him " (22 : 3) . Here we see in type the Father setting apart 
the Son for sacrifice. Just as we find the passover-lamb was 
separated from the flock four days before it was to be killed 
(Ex. 12: 3), so here Isaac is taken by Abraham three days 
before he is to be offered upon the altar. This brings be- 
fore us an aspect of truth exceedingly precious, albeit 
deeply solemn. The seizure and crucifixion of the Lord 
Jesus was something more than the frenzied act of those 
who hated Him without a cause. The cross of Christ was 
according to "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge 
of (Jod" (Acts 2: 23). Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles 
and Jews only did "whatsoever" God's hand and counsel 
"determined before to be done" (Acts 4: 28). Christ was 
the Lamb "without blemish and without spot, who verily 
was foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 

^The writer has little doubt that the particular "mountain" upon which 
Isaac was bound to the altar was Calvary Itself. Here, the mountain is 
not denominated, it was "one of the mountains" in the "land of Moriah" (it 
is significant that "Moriah" means "the Lord will proyide"), and Calvary 
vxiM one of the mountains in the land of Moriah. What seems to identify 
Isaac's mountain with Calvary is not only that the marvelous fullness and 
accuracy of thi9 type would seem to require it, but the fact that In Oen. 
22 : 14 thU mount on which Isaac was offered is distinctly termed "the 
mount of the Lord," Surely this establishes it, for what other save Calvary 
oottld be thus named ! 

The Offering Up of Isaac 223 

Pet. 1 : 20) . YeSy the Lord Jesus was marked out for sacri- 
fice from all eternity. He was, in the purpose of God, ''the 
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13 : 8). 
And note how this is suggested by our type, ' ' And Abraham 
rose up early in the morning" (22 : 3). 

3. ''And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye 
here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and wor- 
ship, and come again to you" (22 : 2) . Here we see in type 
that what took place on that mount of sacrifice was a trans- 
action between the Father and the Son ONLY. How jeal- 
ously God guarded these types I Nothing whatever is said 
of Sarah in this chapter though she figures prominently in 
the one before and is mentioned in the one succeeding. 
Abraham and Isaac must be alone. Up to the time the 
appointed place enters their range of vision 'Uwo young 
men" (22: 3) accompany Isaac; but as they near the scene 
of sacrifice they are left behind (22:5). Is it without a 
reason we are told of these two men journeying with Abra- 
ham and Isaac just so fart We think not. Two is the 
number of witness, but there is more in it than this. These 
two men witnessed Isaac carrying the wood on his shoulder 
up the mountain, but what took place between him and his 
father at the altar they were not permitted to see. No; 
no human eye was to behold that. Look now at the Anti- 
type. Do you not also see there ' ' two men, ' ' the two thieves 
who followed Abraham 's greater son so far but who, like all 
the spectators of that scene, were not permitted to behold 
what transpired between the Father and the Son on the 
altar itself — the three hours of darkness concealing from 
every human eye the Divine Transaction. 

4. "And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, 
and laid it upon Isaac his son" (22: 6). This was no half 
grown boy (as pictures so often represent Isaac), but a 
full-grown man who is here brought before us, one who 
could, had he so wished, have easily resisted the aged 
patriarch. But instead of resisting, Isaac quietly follows 
his father. There is no voice of protest raised to mar the 
scene, but he acquiesces fully by carrying the wood on his 
own shoulder. How this brings before us the Peerless One, 
gladly performing the Father's pleasure. ' There was no 
alienated will in Him that needed to be brought into sub- 
jection: "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God," was His 
gladsome cry. "I delight to do Thy will" revealed the per- 

224 Gleanings in Genesis 

fections of His heart. Christ and the Father were of one 
accord. Note how beautifully this is brought out in the 
type — '*And they went both of them together:^* twice re- 
peated. "We need hardly say that Isaac carrying '*the 
wood'' foreshadowed Christ bearing His cross. 

5. ''And he took the fire in his hand and a knife; and 
they went both of them together" (22 : 6). And he (Abra- 
ham) took the fire in his hand. Here, as everywhere in 
Scripture, "fire'' emblemizes Divine judgment. It ex- 
presses the energy of Divine Holiness which ever burns 
against sin. It is the perfection of the Divine nature which 
cannot tolerate that which is^evil. This was first manifested 
by the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the 
way of the tree of life (Gen. 3: 24). And it will be finally 
and eternally exhibited in the Lake which humeth with fire 
and brimstone. But here in our type it pointed forward to 
that awful storm of Divine judgment which burst upon the 
head of the Sin-Bearer as He hung upon the Gross, for 
there it was that sin, our sin. Christian reader, was being 
dealt with. Just as Isaac 's father took in his hand the fire 
and the knife, so the beloved Son was ' ' smitten of Ood, and 
afflicted" (Is. 53:4). 

6. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father and said, 
My father : and he said. Here am I, my son. And he said, 
Behold the fire and the wood : but where is the lamb for a 
burnt offering f And Abraham said, My son, God will pro- 
vide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering : So they went both 
of them together" (22 : 7, 8). These words of Abraham have 
a double meaning. They tell us that God was the One who 
should ^* provide'' the "lamb," and they also make known 
the fact that the lamb was for Himself. God alone could 
supply that which would satisfy Himself. Nothing of man 
could meet the Divine requirements. If sacrifice for sin was 
ever to be found God Himself must supply it. And mark, 
the '*lamb" was not only provided hy God but it was also 
for God. Before blessing could flow forth to men the claims 
of Divine holiness and justice must be met. It is true, 
blessedly true, that Christ died for sinners, but He first died 
(and this is what we are in danger of forgetting) for Ood, 
i. e., as the Holy Spirit expresses it through the apostle, 
"to declare His righteousness . . . that He might 1)€ 
just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" 
(Rom. 3 : 26) . Note how this comes out in our passage : it is 

The Offering Up of Isaac 225 

not '*Qod Himself will provide a lamb," but **Gk)d will 
provide Himself a lamb ' ' — ^put this way, abstractly, so as to 
take in both of these truths. 

7. ' ' And they came to the place which God had told him 
of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood 
in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar 
upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, 
and took the knife to slay his son. And the Angel of the 
Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, 
Abraham, and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay 
not Thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything 
unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing 
thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me. 
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and beheld 
behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and 
Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for 
a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham 
called the name of that place Jehovah- Jireh : as it is said to 
this day. In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen" 
(22:9-14). Here the type passes from Isaac to the ram 
offered \rp—^* offered up in his stead'' — a beautiful fore- 
shadowment of Christ dying in the stead of sinners who 
are, as Isaac was, already in the place of Death, ' ' bound, ' ' 
unable to help themselves, with the knife of Divine justice 
suspended over them. Here it was that the Oospel was 
'^ preached unto Abraham" (Gal. 3:8). Similarly in other 
scriptures we find this double type (both Isaac and the ram) 
as in the sweet savor and the sin offerings, the two goats on 
the Day of Atonement, the two birds at the cleansing of the 

8. ''By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up 
Isaac : and he that had received the promises offered up his 
only begotten son, of whom it was said. In Isaac shall thy 
seed be called, accounting that God was able to raise him up, 
even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a 
figure'^ (Heb. 11:17-19). Prom this scripture we learn 
that Qen. 22 presents to us in type not only Christ offered 
upon the altar, but Christ raised again from the dead, and 
that on the third day, too, for it was on ''the third day'' 
Abraham received Isaac back again, for during the tluree 
days that elapsed from the time Abraham received com- 
mand from Otod to offer him up as a burnt offering, his son 
was as good as dead to him. And now to complete this won- 

226 Gleanings in Genesis 

derfal picture, observe how Qen. 22 anticipated, in type, 
the Ascension of Christ I It is very striking to note that 
after we read of Isaac being laid upon the altar (from 
which Abraham received him back) nothing further is said 
of him in Oen. 22. Mark carefully the wording of verse 19 
— * ^ So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose 
up and went together to Beer-Sheba." Our type leaves 
Isaac up in the mount I 

This article would not be complete did we say nothing 
about the remarkable trial of Abraham's faith and of the 
Divine grace which sustained him, yet, a very brief word 
is all we now have space for. 

The spiritual history of Abraham was marked by four 
great crises, each of which involved the surrender of some- 
thing which was naturally dear to him. First, he was called 
on to separate himself from his native land and kindred 
(Gen. 12:1); Second, he was called on to give up Lot 
(Oen. 13: 1-18) ; Third, he had to abandon his cherished 
plan about Ishmael (Gten. 17:17, 18) ; Fourth, Gk>d bade 
him offer up Isaac as a burnt offering. The life of the be- 
liever is a series of tests, for only by discipline can Chris- 
tian character be developed. Frequently there is one su- 
preme test, in view of which all others are preparatory. So 
it was with Abraham. He had been tested again and again, 
but never as here. Ood 's demand is, ' ' Son, give Me thine 
heart (Pro. 23 : 26) . It is not our intellect, our talents, our 
money, but our heart, Ood asks for first. When we have 
responded to Ood 's requirement, He lays His hand on some- 
thing especially near and dear to us, to prove the genuine- 
ness of our response, for Gk>d requireth truth in the inward 
parts and not merely on the lips. Thus He dealt with Abra- 
ham. Let us consider now. The Time of Abraham's Trial. 

It was ^' after these things" that Ood did try Abraham; 
that is, it was after the twenty-five years of waiting, after 
the promise of a seed had been frequently repeated, after 
hope had been raised to the highest point, yea, after it had 
been turned to enjoyment and Isaac had reached man's 
estate. Probably Abraham thought that when Isaac was 
bom his trials were at an end; if so, he was greatly mis- 
taken. Let us look now at. The Nature of Abraham's Trial. 

Abraham was bidden to take his son — and whatt De- 
liver him to some other hand to sacrifice t No: be thou 
thyself the priest; go, offer him up for a burnt offering. 

The Offering Up of Isaac 227 

This was a staggering request I When Ishmael was thirteen 
years old, Abraham could have been well contented to have 
gone without another son, but when Isaac was bom and 
had entwined himself around the father's heart, to part 
with him thus must have been a fearful wrench. Add to 
this, the three days' journey, Isaac having to carry the 
wood and Abraham the knife and fire up the mountainside, 
and above all, the cutting question of the son asked in the 
simplicity of his heart, without knowing he himself was to 
be the victim — ^''Behold the fire and the wood: hui where 
is the lamb for a burnt offering T" (22:8) — ^this would 
seem to be more than the human heart could bear. Yet, 
this shock to Abraham's natural affection was not the se- 
verest part of the trial. What must it have been to his 
faith. It was not only that Isaac was his son, but the pram- 
ised seed, the one in whom all the great things spoken of the 
seed were to be fulfilled. When he was called to give up 
his other son Qod condescended to give him a reason for 
it, but here no reason was given. In the former case, though 
Ishmael must go, it was because he was not the child of 
promise (''in Isaac shall thy seed be called"), but if Isaac 
goes who shall substitute for himT To offer up Isaac was 
to sacrifice the very object of faith! Turn now and con- 
sider, Abraham's Response. 

Mark his promptitude. There was no doubt or delay, 
and no reluctance or hesitation ; instead, he * * rose up early 
in the morning." There was no opposition either from 
natural affection or unbelief, rather did he bow in absolute 
submission to the will of God. Faith triumphed over nat- 
ural affection, over reason, and over self-will. Here was a 
most striking demonstration of the efficacy of Divine grace 
which can subdue every passion of the human heart and 
every imagination of the carnal mind, bringing all into un- 
repining acquiescence to Ood. And what was the effect of 
this trial upon Abraham T He was amply rewarded, for he 
discovered something in God he never knew before, or at 
most knew imperfectly, namely, that God was Jehovah- 
Jireh — the Lord who would provide. It is only by passing 
through trials that we learn what Gk>d is — ^His grace, His 
faithfulness. His sufficiency. May the Lord grant both 
writer and reader more of that power of faith which, with 
open hand, takes every blessing which God gives us, and 
with open hand gives back to Him, in the spirit of worship. 


Genesis 26 

In our last two articles we have been occupied more par- 
ticularly with the person of Isaac, now we are to review his 
history. It is noticeable that though Isaac lived the longest 
of the four great patriarchs yet less is recorded of him 
than of the others: some twelve chapters are devoted to 
the biography of Abraham, and a similar number each to 
Jacob and Joseph, but excepting for one or two brief men- 
tionings, before and after, the history of Isaac is con- 
densed into a single chapter. Contrasting his character 
with those of his father and son, we may remark that of 
Isaac there is noted less of Abraham 's triumphs of faith and 
less of Jacob 's failures. 

As we have seen in our previous studies Isaac, typically, 
represents sonship. In perfect consonance with this we 
may note how he was appointed heir of all things. Said 
Eliazer to Bethuel, ^'And Sarah my master's wife bare a 
son to my master when she was old : and unto him hath he 
given all that he hath*' (24:36). Observe how this is re- 
peated for sake of emphasis in 25 : 5 — * ' And Abraham gave 
all that he had unto Isaac." In the type this pointed first 
to Abraham's greater Son, **Whom He (God) hath ap- 
pointed Heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2). But it is equally 
true of all those who are through faith the children of 
Abraham and the children of God — ''And if children, then 
heirs: heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8: 
17). As with Isaac, so with us: all the wealth of the Fa- 
ther's house is ours! But Isaac not only represented the 
believer's sonship and heirship, but he also foreshadowed 
our heavenly calling. As is well known to most of our 
readers, the land of Canaan typified the Heavenlies where 
is our citizenship (Phil. 3:20) and our spiritual warfare 
(Eph. 6: 12). Hence it was that Isaac alone of the patri- 
archs is never seen outside the Land, This is the more no- 
ticeable and striking when we remember how that Abra- 
ham, Jacob and Joseph each did leave the Land, for a 
time at least. 

Having looked at Isaac mystically we shall now consider 
him morally. The first thing we read about him after the 
remarkable scene pictured in Gen. 22 is that '^ Isaac came 


The Man Isaac 229 

from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the 
south country. And Isaac went out to meditate (or pray) 
in the field at the eventide" (24: 62, 63). This gives us a 
good insight into Isaac's character. He was of the quiet 
and retiring order. He had not the positive, active, ag- 
gressive disposition of his eminent father, but was gentle 
and retiring and unresisting. In One only do we find all 
the Divine graces and perfections. 

Isaac was essentially the man of the well. Abraham was 
markedly the man of the altar, Jacob specially the man of 
the tent but that which was most prominent in connection 
with Isaac was the ''well." The first thing said of Isaac 
after he was bound to the altar (Gten. 22) is, ''Isaac came 
from the way of the well Lahai-roi" (24: 62). This is very 
striking coming as the next mention of Isaac after we have 
seen Christ typically slain, resurrected and ascended (com- 
pare our last article on Gen. 22). Hence that which fol- 
lows here in the type is the figure of the Holy Spirit's oper- 
ations — as succeeding Christ's Ascension I But returning 
to Isaac and the well. The next time he is referred to we 
are told, * * And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, 
that God blessed his son Isaac ; and Isaac dwelt by the well 
Lahai-roi" (25: 11). And again we read, "And Isaac de- 
parted thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gterar, 
and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of 
water which they had digged in the days of Abraham his 
father; for the Philistines had stopped them" (26: 18, 19). 
For further references see Gen! 26 : 20, 21, 22, 25. It is 
very striking and significant that the name of Isaac is asso- 
ciated with "wells" just seven times, not less, not more. 
Undoubtedly there is some important lesson to be gathered 
from this. 

A well differs from a cistern, in that it is the place of 
running water. What a marvelous hint of the typical 
meaning of Isaac 's well is that found in 26 : 19 ! — * ' And 
Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a 
well of springing water," the margin gives, "of living 
water"! Water is imperative for the maintenance of the 
natural life ; so, too, is it with the spiritual. The first need 
of the believer is the "living water," that is, the Spirit 
acting through the Word. ' ' The way that water ministers 
to life and growth is indeed a beautiful type of the Spirit 's 
action. Without water a plant will die in the midst of 

230 Gleanings in Genesis 

abundance of food in actual contact with its roots. Its 
office is to make food to be assimilated by the organism, 
and to give power to the Gystem itself to take it up" (F. 
W. G.). 

The first well by which Isaac is seen is that of Lahai-roi 
(24:62; 25: 11), the meaning of which is, **Him that liv- 
eth and seeth me" (See 16: 14). It told of the unfailing 
care of the ever-living and ever-present Qod. And where 
is such a * ' well " to be found to-day f Where is it we are 
brought to realize the presence of this One t Where but in 
the Holy Scriptures! The Word of Qod ministered to us 
by the power and blessing of the Spirit is that which re» 
veals to us the presence of Qod. The **well," then, typi- 
fies the place to which the son is brought — ^into the presence 
of God. His remaining there, practically, depends upon 
his use of and obedience to the Word. 

We have just looked at Isaac by the Well of Lahai-roi; 
did he remain there t What do you suppose is the answer, 
reader! Gould you not supply it from your own experi- 
ence! ''And there was a famine in the land, besides the 
first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac 
went unto Ahimelech, king of the Philistines unto Gerar'' 
(26:1). Isaac's departure from the well Lahai-roi to 
Qerar typifies the failure of the son (the believer) to main- 
tain his standing in the presence of God and his enjoy- 
ment of Divine fellowship. But is it not blessed to read 
next, ''And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not 
down into Egypt ; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee 
of. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will 
hless thee, for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all 
these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware 
unto Abraham thy father'* (26:2, 3). Apparently, Isaac 
was on his way to Egypt, like his father before him in time 
of famine, and would have gone there had not the Lord ap- 
peared to him and arrested his steps. In passing, we would 
remark that here we have a striking illustration of the sov- 
ereign ways of God. To Isaac the Lord appeared and 
stayed him from going down to Egypt, yet under pre- 
cisely similar circumstances He appeared not unto Abra- 

"And Isaac dwelt in Gerar" (26:6). Gerar was the 
borderland midway between Canaan and Egypt. Note that 
God had said to Isaac, ^^ Sojourn in this land" (v. 3), but 

The Man Isaac 23 1 

Isaac **dwdV* there (v. 6), and that ''a Umg time'' (v. 8). 
Mark now the consequence of Isaac settling down in Gterar 
— ^type of the believer out of communion. He sinned there I 
''And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he 
said, She is my sister : for he feared to say. She is my wife ; 
lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Re- 
bekah; because she was fair to look upon" (26:7). Isaac 
thus repeated the sin of Abraham (Oen. 20: 1, 2). What 
are we to learn from Isaac thus following the evil example 
of his father t From others we select two thoughts. First, 
the readiness with which Isaac followed in the way of Abra- 
ham suggests that it is much easier for children to imitate 
the vices and weaknesses of their parents than it is to emu- 
late their virtues, and that the sins of the parents are fre- 
quently perpetuated in their children. Solemn thought 
this I But, second, Abraham and Isaac were men of vastly 
different temperament, yet each succumbed to the same 
temptation. When famine arose each fled to man for help. 
When in the land of Abimelech each was afraid to own his 
wife as such. Are we not to gather from this that no mat- 
ter what our natural temperament may be, unless the grace 
of God supports and sustains us we shall inevitably fall I 
What a warning I 

' ' Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same 
year a hundred-fold : and the Lord blessed him. And the 
man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he 
became very great" (26:12, 13). Most of the commenta- 
tors have had difficulty with these verses and have resorted 
to various ingenuities to explain this prosperity of Isaac 
while he was out of communion with Ood. But the diffi- 
culty vanishes if we look at the above statement in the light 
of V. 3, where the Lord had said, **I will bless thee" — a 
promise given before Isaac had practised this deception 
upon Abimelech. That this is the true interpretation ap- 
pears from the word '^ bless." Gk>d had said, ^'I will bless 
thee" (v. 3), and v. 12 records the fulfillment of God's 
promise, for here we read, ''And the Lord blessed him." 
The failure of Isaac between the time when God made 
promise and its fulfillment only affords us a striking illus- 
tration of that blessed word, ''He is faithful that promised" 
(Heb. 10: 23) I Yes, blessed be His name, even "if we be- 
lieve not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Him- 
self" (2 Gen. 2:13). 

232 Gleanings in Genesis 

Next we are told, ^'And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Oo 
from us; for thou art much mightier than we" (26: 16). 
Was not this Ood speaking to Isaac, speaking at a distance 
(through Abimelech) and not yet directly ! 

''And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the 
valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again 
the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of 
Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them 
after the death of Abraham; and he called their names 
after the names by which his father had called them" (26: 
17, 18). In digging again these wells of Abraham which 
had been stopped up by the Philistines, Isaac appears to 
typify Christ who, at the beginning of the New Testament, 
dispensation re-opened the Well of Living Water which 
had, virtuall3% been blocked up by the traditions and cere- 
monialism of the Pharisees. 

''And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and fouad 
there a well of springing water. And the herdsmen of 
Gterar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, siying, The water 
is ours... .And they digged another well and strove for 
that also And he removed from thence and digged an- 
other well" (26:19-22). Again we would ask, Was not 
this ''strife" God's way of leading his child back to Him- 
self again I But note also the lovely moral trait seen here 
in Isaac, namely, his nonresistance of evil. Instead of 
standing up for his ' ' rights, ' ' instead of contending for the 
wells which he had dug, he quietly "removed" to another 
place. In this he beautifully points out the path which the 
Christian should follow: "For this is thankworthy, if a 
man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering 
wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted 
for your faults, ye shall take it patiently t but if, when ye 
do well, ye suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is accept- 
able with God" (1 Pet. 2 : 19, 20). We need hardly remind 
the reader that the attitude displayed by Isaac, as above, 
was that of the Saviour who ' ' when He was reviled, reviled 
not again." 

"And he went up from thence to Beersheba** (26:23). 
Mark here the topographical reference which symbolized 
Isaac 's moral ascent and return to the place of communion, 
for ' ' Beersheba ' ' means the Well of the Oath. In full ac- 
cord with this behold the blessed sequel — ^"And the Lord 
appeared unto him the same night and said, I am the God 

The Man Isaac 2SS 

of Abraham thy father ; fear not, for I am with thee, and 
will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for My servant Abra- 
ham's sake" (26: 24). On the very night of Isaac's return 
to Beersheba the Lord ' ' appeared unto ' ' him I 

''And he builded an altar there, and called upon the 
name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there 
Isaac digged a well" (26:25). Mark how the ''altar" is 
mentioned before the ' ' tent ' ' — ^there was no mention of any 
altar in Qerarl How striking, too, that next we read, 
* ' Then Abimelech went to him from (jkrar, and Ahurzzath 
one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his 
army" (26 : 26). Personal blessings from the Lord was not 
the only result of his return to Beersheba. Abimelech seeks 
him out, not now to distress him (we no longer read of any 
"striving" for this last well), but to ask a favor. And 
they said, ' ' We certainly saw tiiat the Lord was with thee : 
and we said. Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even be- 
twixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee" 
(26:28). Now that our patriarch has entered again the 
path of Ood's will, those who formerly were his enemies 
seek him and bear witness to the presence of God with him. 
An illustration is this that ' ' when a man 's ways please the 
Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him" 
(Pro. 16:7). 

"And he (Isaac) made them a feast, and they did eat 
and drink. And they rose up betimes in the morning, and 
sware one to another : and Isaac sent them away, and they 
departed from him in peace" (26: 30, 31). Above we called 
attention to how meekly Isaac suffered wrong when the 
Philistines strove for his wells, but here we may mark his 
failure to manifest another grace which ought always to 
accompany meekness. There is a meekness which is accord- 
ing to nature, but usually this degenerates into weakness. 
The meekness which is of the Spirit will not set aside the 
requirements of righteousness, but will maintain the claims 
of Ood. And here Isaac failed. To forgive is Christian, 
but with that there must be faithfulness in its season. ' ' If 
thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he 
repent, forgive him" (Luke 17: 3). Abimelech had clearly 
wronged him, but instead of dealing with Abimelech 's con- 
science, Isaac made him a ^' feast." This was amiable, no 
doubt, but it was not upholding the claims of righteousness. 
Contrast the conduct of Abraham under similar circum- 

234 Gleanings in Genesis 

stances — ^''And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a 
well of water, which Abimelech 's servants had violently 
taken away'' (Gen. 21 : 25) ! 

**And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife 
Judith, the daughter of Beeri the HitUte, and Bashemath, 
the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which were a grief of 
mind unto Isaac and to Bebekah " (26 : 34 and 35) . This is 
sad, and points a solemn warning to us. Marriage is a 
momentous undertaking, and for one of the Lord's people 
to unite with a worlding is to court disaster as well as to 
dishonor Christ. Jehovah's instructions to Israel were very 
pointed: under no circumstances must they marry a Ca- 
naanite (Deut. 7:3). In the times covered by the book of 
(Genesis, though apparently no divine law had been given 
respecting it, yet the mind of God was clearly understood. 
This is evident from the care which Abraham took to secure 
Isaac a wife from among his own people (Gen. 24), thus 
did he prevent Isaac from marrying a daughter of Ca- 
naan. But Isaac was careless about this matter. He failed 
to watch over his children so as to anticipate mischief. 
Esau married a daughter of the Hittites. Gk>d could not 
say of Isaac as he had of his father, ^'For I know him, that 
he will command his children and his household after him» 
and they shall keep the way of the Lord" (Qen. 18: 19). 
However, that Isaac had within him a righteous soul to be 
*' vexed" is clear from the words, ** which were a grief of 
mind unto Isaac and to Bebekah" (26: 35). 

We reserve for our next article a detailed examination 
of Genesis 27. Suffice it now to refer barely to the incident 
which is well known to our readers. Isaac was one hundred 
and forty years old and was fearful that death might soon 
overtake him. He therefore prepares to perform the last 
religious act of a patriarchal priest and bestow blessing 
upon his sons. But mark how that instead of seeking guid- 
ance from God in prayer his mind is occupied with a feast 
of venison. Not only so, but he seeks to reverse the ex- 
pressed will of God and bestow upon Esau what the Lord 
had reserved for Jacob. But whatsoever a man soweth that 
shall he also reap. Isaac acts in the energy of the flesh, 
and Bebekah and Jacob deal with him on the same low 
level. And here the history of Isaac terminates! After 
charging Jacob not to take a wife from the daughters of 
Canaan (28: 1) he disappears from the scene and nothing 

The Man Isaac 235 

farther is recorded of him save his death and burial (35: 
27-29) . As another has said, ' ' instead of wearing out, Isaac 
rusted out," rusted out as a vessel no longer fit for the 
master's use. 

**Was Isaac, I ask, a vessel marred on the wheel f Was 
he a vessel laid aside as not fit for the Master 's use f or at 
least not fit for it any longer f His history seems to tell us 
this. Abraham had not been such an one. All the distin- 
guishing features of Uhe stranger here,' all the proper 
fruits of that energy that quickened him at the outset, were 
borne in him and by him to the very end. We have looked 
at this already in the walk of Abraham. Abraham's leaf 
did not wither. He brought forth fruit in old age. So was 
it with Moses, with David, and with Paul. They die with 
their harness on, at the plough or in the battle. Mistakes 
and more than mistakes they made by the way, or in their 
cause, or at their work; but they are never laid aside. 
Moses is counselling the camp near the banks of the Jor- 
dan ; David is ordering the conditions of the Kingdom, and 
putting it (in its beauty and strength) into the hand of 
Solomon ; Paul has his armour on, his loins girded. When, 
as I may say, the time of their departure was at hand, the 
Master, as we may read in Luke 12, found them 'so doing,' 
as servants should be found. But thus was it not with 
Isaac. Isaac is laid aside. For forty long years we know 
nothing of him; he had been, as it were, decaying away 
and wasting. The vessel was rusting till it rusted out. 

''There is surely meaning in all this, meaning for our 
admonition. And yet — such is the f ruitfulness and instruc- 
tion of the testimonies of Ood — there are others in Scrip- 
ture, of other generations, who have still more solemn les- 
sons and warnings for us. It is humbling to be laid aside 
as no longer fit for use ; but it is sad to be left merely to 
recover ourselveSf and it is terrible to remain to defile our* 
selves. And illustrations of all this moral variety we get 
in the testimonies of Gk>d. Jacob, in his closing days in 
^S7Pt, is not as a vessel laid aside, but he is there recov- 
ering himself. I know there are some truly precious things 
connected with him during those seventeen years that he 
spent in that land, and we could not spare the lesson which 
the Spirit reads to us out of the life of Jacob in Egypt. 
But still, the moral of it is this — a saint, who had been 
under holy discipline, recovering himself, and yielding 

236 Gleanings in Genesis 

trmtj meet for recovery. And when we think of it a little, 
that is but a poor thing. But Solomon is a still worse case. 
He lives to defile himself ; sad and terrible to tell it. This 
was neither Isaac nor Jacob — ^it was not a saint simply laid 
aside, nor a saint left to recover himself. Isaac was, in the 
great moral sense, blameless to the end, and Jacob's last 
days were his best days ; but of Solomon we read, ' It came 
to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away 
his heart after other gods,' and this has made the writing 
over his name, the tablet to his memory, equivocal, and 
hard to be deciphered to this day. 

* ' Such lessons do Isaac and Jacob and Solomon, in these 
ways, read for us, beloved — such are the minute and vari- 
our instructions left for our souls in the fruitful and living 
pages of the oracles of Ood. They give us to see, in the 
house of Ood, vessels fit for use and kept in use even to the 
end — ^vessels laid aside, to rust out rather than to wear out 
— ^vessels whose best service is to get themselves clean again 
— and vessels whose dishonor it is, at the end of their serv- 
ice, to contract some fresh defilement." (J. Q. BeUett, 
''The Patriarchs/') 


Genesis 27 

Let us look at the two sons who were to receive the bless- 
ing. They are first brought before us in Gen. 25 : 20-26 — 
'^And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to 
wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-Aran, 
the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac entreated the 
Lord for his wife, because she was barren and the Lord 
was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And 
the children struggled together within her; and she said, 
If it be so, why am I thus f And she went to enquire of the 
Lord. And the Lord said unto her. Two nations are in thy 
womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from 
thy bowels ; and the one people shall be stronger than the 
other people ; and the elder shall serve the younger. And 
when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there 
were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all 
over like a hairy garment ; and they called his name Esau. 
And after that came his brother out, and his hand took 
hold on Esau 's heel ; and his name was called Jacob : and 
Isaac was three-score years old when she bare them. ' ' We 
reserve our comments on this passage until our next article 
on Jacob, and pass on now to the well-known incident of 
Esau selling his birthright. 

''And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, 
a man of the field ; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in 
tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his 
venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. And Jacob sod pot- 
tage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 
And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that 
same red pottage ; for I am faint : therefore was his name 
called Edom. And Jacob said. Sell me this day thy birth- 
i^ight. And Esau said. Behold, I am at the point to die: 
and what profit shall this birthright do to me f And Jacob 
said, Swear to me this day ; and he sware unto him : and 
he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau 
bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, 
and rose up, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his 
birthright. ' ' (Gen. 25 : 27-34.) There is far more beneath 
the surface here (as in all Scripture) than meets the eye 
at first glance. Esau and Jacob are to be considered m 


238 Gleanings in Genesis 

representative characters. Esau typifies the unbeliever, 
Jacob the man of faith. Every line in the brief sketch that 
is here given of their characters is profoundly significant. 

Esau was *'a cunning hunter'' (v. 27). The *^hunter'^ 
tells of the roving, daring, restless nature that is a stranger 
to peace. A glance at the concordance will show that the 
word '^ hunter" is invariably found in an evU connection 
(cf.l Sam. 24:11; Job 10:16; Psa. 140:11; Prov. 6:26; 
Micah 7:2; Ezek. 13 : 18). ''Search'' is the antithesis, the 
good word, the term used when Ood is seeking His own. 
Only two men in Scripture are specifically termed '^hun- 
ters," namely, Nimrod and Esau, and they have much in 
common. The fact that Eigau is thus linked together with 
Nimrod, the rebel, reveals his true character. 

Next we are told that Esau was ^'a man of the field" (v. 
27). In the light of Matt. 13 : 38— ''The field is the world" 
— ^it is not difficult to discern the spiritual truth illustrated 
in the person of Esau. He was, typically, a man of the 
world. In sharp contrast from what we are told of Esau 
two things are said of Jacob : — ^he was ''a plain man ; dwell- 
ing in tents" (v. 27). The Hebrew for ''plain" is "tam,'* 
which is translated in other passages ' ' perfect, " " upright, ' * 
"undefiled." The reference is to his character. The 
"dwelling in tents" denotes that he was a stranger and 
pilgrim in this scene; having here no abiding city, but 
seeking one to come. 

"And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, 
and he was faint." Here again the contrast between the 
two sons of Isaac is sharp and instructive. Jacob was oc- 
cupied with the affairs of the house, cooking a meal, and 
enjoying his portion,* whereas Esau was again connected 
with the "field" and is "faint." Remembering what we 
have seen above, namely, that Esau is to be viewed as a 
representative character, a man of the world, this next line 
in the p^'cture is highly suggestive. Esau returns from the 
field without his venison, hungry and faint. Such is ever 
the case with the worldling. There is nothing to be found 
in the "field" which can satisfy, or, to drop the figure, the 
world affords nothing that is able to meet man's spiritual 
needs, for be it noted, that man in contrast from the beasts, 
is essentially a spiritual being. No; over all the Sfystems 
of this poor world it is written ' ' Whosoever drinketh of this 

^Note in 2 Kingi 4 : : 88-40 ''pottage'* WM the food of God's propheU. 

Isaac Blessing His Sons 239 

water shall thirst again." It cannot be otherwise. How 
can a world into which sin has entered, which is away from 
Ood, and which ^^lieth in the Wicked One'' furnish any- 
thing which can truly meet the need of the heart that, con- 
sciously or unconsciously, ever panteth after Ood I Esau's 
experience was but that of Solomon at a later date, and of 
many another since — ^vanity and vexation of spirit is the 
only portion for those who seek contentment ^^ under the 
sun. " So it is now. Only the Jacobs — ^the objects of Ood's 
grace — ^possess that which appeases the hunger of the inner 

'^And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with 
that same red pottage for I am faint." It is a pity that 
the translators of our noble King James Version should 
have obscured the meaning here by inserting in italics the 
word ''pottage." As it so frequently the case the words in 
italics, put in to convey a better sense, only hide the real 
sense. So it is here. In v. 29 the word ''pottage" is em- 
ployed by the Holy Spirit to denote the portion which 
Jacob enjoyed. But here in v. 30 what Esau really says is 
''Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red," and this was 
all he said. He was ignorant of even the name of that 
which was Jacob 's. No doubt he was thoroughly versed in 
the terms of the chase, but of the things of the house, of the 
portion of Gk)d 's chosen, he knew not — * ' Therefore the world 
knoweth us not, because it knew Him not" (1 John 3:1). 

"And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright," etc. 
(v. 31). Here Jacob offers to huy from Esau what was his 
by the free bounty of Ood. A word now concerning this 
"birthright." The birthright was a most cherished pos- 
session in those days. It consisted of the excellency of dig- 
nity and power, usually a double portion (see Gten. 49:3 
and Deut. 21: 17). In connection with the family of Abra- 
ham there was a i)eculiar blessing attached to the birth- 
right: it was spiritual as well as temporal in its nature. 
"The birthright was a spiritual heritage. It gave the right 
of being the priest of the family or clan. It carried with 
it the privilege of being the depository and communicator 
of the Divine secrets. It constituted a link in the line of 
descent by which the Messiah was to be bom into the 
world." (F. B. M.) 

240 Gleanings in Genesis 

Esau reveals his true character by saying ^'Behold, I am 
going to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to 
me?" These words show what a low estimate he placed 
upon ' ' the blessing of Abraham. ' ' I'his birthright he con- 
temptuously termed it. We think, too, that in the light of 
the surrounding circumstances Esau's utterance here ex- 
plains the word of the Holy Spirit in Heb. 12: 16 — ^**Lest 
there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who 
for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. ' ' Surely Esau 
did not mean he would die of hunger unless he ate imme- 
diately of the pottage, for that is scarcely conceivable when 
he had access to all the provisions in Isaac 's house. Bather 
does it seem to us that what he intended was, that in a little 
time at most, he would be dead, and then of what account 
would the promises of God to Abraham and his seed be to 
him — I cannot live on promises, give me something to eat 
and drink, for to-morrow I die, seems to be the force of 
his words. 

The next time Esau is mentioned is at the close of Gen. 
26: there we read **And Esau was forty years old when 
he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, 
and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: which 
were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah." We 
cannot do better than quote from Mr. Grant : — ^ ' This is the 
natural sequel of a profanity which could esteem the birth- 
right at the value of a mess of pottage. These forty years 
are a significant hint to us of a completed probation. In 
his two wives, married at once, he refuses at once the exam- 
ple and counsel of his father, and by his union with Ca- 
naanitish women disregarded the Divine sentence, and 
shows unmistakably the innermost recesses of the heart.'' 

We are now ready to look at the sad scene which Gen. 
27 presents to us. ''And it came to pass, that when Isaac 
was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he 
called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: 
and he said unto him. Behold, here am I. And he said, 
Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver 
and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some 
venison; And make me savory meat, such as I love, and 
bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless 
thee before I die" (Q^n. 27: 1-4). Why was it that Isaac 
desired to partake of venison from Esau before blessing 

Isaac Blessing His Sons 241 

himf Does not Gen. 25:28 answer the question — ^''And 
Isaac loved Esau hecaiise he did eat of his venison.'' In 
view of this statement it would seem, then, that Isaac de- 
sired to enkindle or intensify his affections for Esau, so 
that he might bless him with all his heart. But surely 
Isaac's eyes were ''dim" spiritually as well as physically. 
Let us not forget that what we read here at the beginning 
of Oen. 27 follows immediately after the record of Esau 
marrying the two heathen wives. Thus it will be seen that 
Isaac's wrong in being partial to Esau was greatly aggra- 
vated by treating so lightly his son's affront to the glory 
of Jehovah — and all for a meal of venison ! Alas, what a 
terrible thing is the flesh with its ''affections and lusts" 
even in a believer, yea, more terrible than in an unbeliever. 
But worst of all, Isaac 's partiality toward Esau was a plain 
disregard of Ood's word to Rebekah that Esau should 
"serve"Jacob(Gen. 25 : 23). By comparing Heb. 11 : 20 with 
Bom. 10 : 7 it is certain that Isaac had himself "heard" this. 

"And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son 

and Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son Now 

therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which 
I command thee. Oo now to the flock, and fetch me from 
thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them 
savory meat for thy father, such as he loveth : And thou 
shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he 
may bless thee before his death" (vs. 6-10). How like 
Sarah before her, who, in a similar "evil hour" imagined 
that she could give effect to the Divine promise by fleshly 
expediences (Oen. 16 : 2). As another has suggested "they 
both acted on that God dishonoring proverb that ' The Lord 
helps those who help themselves,' " whereas the truth is, 
the Lord helps those who have come to the end of them- 
selves. If Rebekah really had confidence in the Divine 
promise she might well have followed tranquilly the path 
of duty, assured that in due time Gk>d would Himself bring 
His word to pass. 

"And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau 
my brother is a hairy man, and I rjn a smooth man : My 
father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him 
as a deceiver ; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a 
blessing" (vs. 11, 12). How the character of Jacob comes 
out here ! He reveals his native shrewdness and foresight, 
but instead of shrinking back in horror from the sin, he 

242 Gleanings in Genesis 

appears to have been occupied only with what might prove 
its unpleasant consequences. 

'^And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, 
my son : only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. And 
he went and fetched, and brought them to his mother : and 
his mother made savory meat, such as his father loved. 
And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son, Esau, 
which were with her in the house, and put them upon 
Jacob her younger son : And she put the skins of the kids 
of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his 
neck : And she gave the savory meat and the bread, which 
she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob'' (vs. 
13-17). It is difScult to say who was most to blame, Jacob 
or his mother. Bebekah was the one to whom Gk>d had 
directly made known His purpose respecting her two sons, 
and, be it noted, the wife of Isaac was no heathen but, in- 
stead, one who knew the Lord— <2f . ' * She went to enquire of 
the Lord" (25:22). Her course was plain: she should 
have trusted the Lord to bring to nought the carnal design 
of Isaac, but she took the way of the flesh, plotted against her 
husband, and taught her son to deceive his father. Yet in 
condemning Biebekah we are reminded of Rom. 2:1,'^ There- 
fore thou are inexcusable O man, whosoever thou art that 
judgest : for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemn- 
est thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." 

We refrain from quoting at length the verses that follow. 
Jacob complies with his mother's suggestion, and adds sin 
to sin. First he impersonates his brother, tells lies to his 
father, and ends by going the awful length of bringing in 
the name of the Lord Gk>d (v. 20) . To what fearful lengths 
will sin quickly lead us once we take the first wrong step I 
A similar progression in evil is seen (by way of implica* 
tion) in Psa. 1:1: the one who ' Valks" in the counsel of 
the ungodly will soon be found ''standing" in the way of 
sinners, and then it will not be long ere he is discovered 
''sitting" in the seat of the scornful. 

At first suspicious, Isaac's fears were allayed by his son's 
duplicity, and the blessing was given, "and he came near 
and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, 
and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as 
the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed : Therefore 
God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the 
earth, and plenty of corn and wine : Let people serve thee. 

Isaac Blessing His Sons 24S 

and nations bow down to thee : be lord over thy brethreni 
and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee : enrsed be every 
one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee" 
(vs. 27-29). It is to be noted that the ''blessing" which 
Jacob here receives from the lips of his father was far below 
the blessed string of promises which he received directly 
from Qod when wholly cast upon His grace (see 28 : 13-15) . 

We need not tarry long on the pathetic sequel. No sooner 
had Jacob left his father's presence than Esau comes in 
with his venison and says, ''let my father arise and eat of 
his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me." Then it is 
that Isaac discovers the deception that has been practiced 
upon him, and he "trembled very exceedingly." Esau 
learns of his brother's duplicity, and with a great and ex- 
ceeding bitter cry says, "Bless me, even me also, O my far 
ther, ' ' only to hear Isaac say, ' ' Thy brother came with sub- 
tlety, and hath taken away thy blessing. • . .behold I have 
made him thy lord." Esau renews his request saying, 
"Hast thou but one blessing, my father f Bless me, even 
me, also." Then it was that Isaac uttered that prophecy 
that received such a striking fulfillment in the centuries 
that followed — ^"Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness 
of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And 
by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother: 
and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the domin- 
ion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck" (vs. 
39, 40). For Esau "serving his brother" see 2 Sam. 8 : 14 
(David was a descendant of Jacob) ; and for "thou shalt 
break his yoke from off thy neck" see 2 Chron. 21 : 8. 

Above we have noticed that when Isaac discovered that 
he had blessed Jacob instead of Esau he "trembled very 
exceedingly. ' ' This was the turning point in the incident, 
the point where, for the first time, light breaks in on this 
dark scene. It was horror which was awakened in his soul 
as he now fully realized that he had been pitting himself 
against the expressed mind of Jehovah. It is beautiful to 
notice that instead of "cursing" Jacob (as his son had 
feared, see v. 12) now that Isaac discovers how Ood had gra- 
ciously overruled his wrong doing, he bowed in self -judg- 
ment, and "trembled with a great trembling greatly" (mar- 
gin) . Then it was that faith found expression in the words 
"And he shall be blest" (v. 33). He knew now that Gk>d 
had been securing what He had declared before the sons 

244 Gleanings in Genesis 

were bom. It is this which the Spirit seizes on in Heb. 
11 : 20, ^^By faith Isaac blest Jacob and Esau concerning 
things to come." 

Many are the lessons illustrated and exemplified in the 
above incident. We can do little more than name a few of 
the most important. 1. How many to-day are, like Esau, 
bartering Divine privileges for carnal gratification. 2. Be- 
ware of doing evil that good may come. What shame and 
sorrow they do make for themselves who in their zeal for 
good do not scruple to use wrong means. Thus it was with 
Bebekah and Jacob. 3. Let us seek grace to prevent nat- 
ural affections overriding love for God and His revealed 
will. 4. Remember the unchanging law of Sowing and 
Reaping. How striking to observe that it was Rebekah, 
not Isaac, who sent her beloved child away! She it was 
who led him into grievous sin, and she it was whom Ood 
caused to be the instrument of his exile. She, poor thing, 
suggested that he find refuge in the home of Laban her 
brother for ''some days." Little did she imagine that her 
favorite child would have to remain there for twenty years, 
and that never again should she behold him in the flesh. 
Ah! the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind ex- 
ceeding small, and we might add ** surely.'^ And during 
those long years Jacob was to be cheated by Laban as he 
had cheated Isaac. 5. Learn the utter futility of seeking to 
foil God: '*So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of 
him that runneth, but of Qod that showeth mercy" (Rom. 
9:16); neither Isaac 's * ' willing ' ' nor Esau 's * * running ' ' 
could defeat the purpose of Jehovah. ''There are many 
devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the 
Lord that shall stand" (Prov. 19: 21). Man proposes but 
God disposes. 

Finally, have we not here, deeply hidden, a beautiful 
picture of the Gospel. Jacob found acceptance with his 
father and received his blessing because he sheltered behind 
the name of the father's firstborn, beloved son, and was 
clothed with his garments which diffused to Isaac an excel- 
lent odor. In like manner, we as sinners, find acceptance 
before God and receive His blessing as we shelter behind 
the name of JETi^ beloved Firstborn, and as we are clothed 
mth the robe of righteousness which we receive from Him 
thus coming before the Father in the merits of His Son who 
"hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to 
Ood for a sweet smelling savor ^^ (Eph* 5:2). 


Genesis 28 

Jacob and his experiences may be viewed from two chief 
viewpoints: as a picture of the believer, and as a type of 
the Jewish nation. We shall take up the latter first. As to 
Jacob foreshadowing the history of the Jews we may note, 
among others, the following analogies : 

1. Jacob was markedly the object of God's election: 
Bom. 9 : 10. So, too, was the Jewish nation. See Deut. 6 : 
7; 10:15; Amos 3: 2. 

2. Jacob was loved before he was born, Rom. 9 : 11-13. 
Of the Jewish nation it is written, ''Thus saith the Lord, 
the people which were left of the sword found grace in the 
wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest, 
the Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have 
loved thee with an everlasting love" ( Jer. 31 : 2, 3). 

3. Jacob was altogether lacking in natural attractiveness. 
This is singularly true of the Jewish people. 

4. Jacob was the one from whom the Twelve Tribes di- 
rectly sprang. 

5. Jacob is the one after whom the Jewish race is most 
frequently called. See Isaiah 2 : 5, etc. 

6. Jacob was the one whom God declared should be 
' ' served, ' ' Gen. 25 : 23 ; 27 : 29. Of the Jews the prophetic 
scriptures affirm, ' * Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will 
lift up Mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up My standard 
to the people, and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, 
and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. 
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens 
thy nursing mothers; they shall how down to thee with 
their face to the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet" 
(Is. 49: 22, 23). And again it is written of Israel, ''And 
they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the 
Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in 
litters, and upon mules" (Is. 66:20). 

7. Jacob was the one to whom God gave the earthly in- 
heritance, Gen. 27 : 28 ; 28 : 13. So, too, the Jews. 

8. Jacob suffered a determined effort to be rohhed of his 
inheritance. Gen. 27 : Isaac and Esau. So have the Jews. 

9. Jacob valued the blessing of God, but sought it in car- 
nal w^s, totally opposed to faith. Gen. 26 : 27. So it is 


246 Gleanings in Genesis 

written of the Jews, ''For I bear them record that they 
have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For 
they being ignorant of Ood's righteousness, and going about 
to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted 
themselves unto the righteousness of Gk>d" (Rom. 10: 2, 3). 

10. Jacob was exiled from the land as the result of his 
sin, Oen. 28 : 5. So have the Jews been. 

11. Jacob spent much of his life as a wandering exile 
from the land ; such has been the history of his descendants 

12. Jacob was distinctly the wanderer among the patri- 
archs, and as such a type of the wandering Jew ! 

13. Jacob experienced, as such, the sore chastenings of a 
righteous Gk)d. So, too, the Jews. 

14. Jacob had no ''altar'' in the land of his exile: thus 
also is it written of the Jews, "For the children of Israel 
shall abide many days without a King, and without a prince, 
and ivithout a sacrifice^* (Hosea 3:4). 

15. Jacob set his heart upon the land while exiled from 
it. His yearning for home is strikingly expressed in his 
words to Laban : ' ' Send me away, that I may go unto mine 
own place, and to my country,'* (30: 25). How we behold 
the same yearning among the Zionists today, as they appeal 
to American and British statesmen to make it possible for 
them to return in safety to Palestine ! 

16. Jacob was unjustly dealt with in the land of exile, 
Gen. 29:23; 31:41,42. 

17. Jacob developed into a crafty schemer and used sub- 
tle devices to secure earthly riches, Oen. 30 : 37, 43. 

18. Jacob while in exile receives promise from God that 
he shall return unto the promised land. Gen. 28 : 15. 

19. Jacob received no further revelation from God dur- 
ing all the years of his exile, until at length bidden by Him 
to return, Gen. 31 : 3. 

20. Jacob was graciously preserved by God in the land 
of his exile and was the object of His ceaseless providential 

21. Jacob became wealthy while in the land of exile, Gten. 

22. Jacob, because of this, had stirred up against him the 
enmity of those among whom he sojourned. Gen. 31 : 1. 

23. Jacob ultimately returned to the land bearing with 
him th« riches of the Gentiles, 31 : 18. 

The Man Jacob 247 

24. Jacob is seen at the end blessing the Gentiles (Oen. 
47: 7), and acting as God's prophet, Gen. 49- In all these 
respects Jacob was a striking type of the Jew. 

We shall next look at Jacob as a picture of the believer. 
It is intensely interesting to mark how each of the patri- 
archs foreshadowed some distinct truth in the believer. In 
Abraham we see the truth of Divine sovereignty, and the 
life of faith ; in Isaac Divine sonship, and the life of sub- 
mission; in Jacob Divine grace, and the life of conflict. 
In Abraham, election; in Isaac, the new birth; in Jacob, 
the manifestation of the two natures. Thus we find the 
order of these Old Testament biographies foreshadowed ac- 
curately what is now fully revealed in the New Testament. 
Again, we may remark further that, typically, Jacob is the 
servant. This is ever the Divine order. Abraham, the 
chosen object of God 's sovereign purpose, necessarily comes 
first, then Isaac, the son bom supematurally, the heir of 
the father's house, followed by Jacob, the servant. It is 
needful to call special attention to this order to-day, though 
we cannot here enlarge upon it. Man would place sonship 
at the end of a long life of service, but God places it at the 
beginning. Man says. Serve God in order to become His 
son; but God says, Tou must first be My son in order to 
serve Me acceptably. The apostle Paul expressed this order 
when he said: *' Whose I am, and whom I serve" (Acts 
27:23). How carefully this order is guarded in our type 
appears further in the fact that before Jacob commenced 
his service at Padan-aram he first tarried at Bethel, which 
means *'the House of God" — we must first enter God's 
household before we can serve Him! That Jacob does, 
typically, represent service is clear from, Hosea 12 : 12, 
where we are told, "And Jacob fled into the country of 
Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept 
sheep." The history of this we get in Genesis 29 and 30. 
As a servant with Laban, Jacob was singularly faithful. 
Here is his own challenge, ** These twenty years have I been 
with thee ; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their 
young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That 
which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee ; I bare 
the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether 
stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was, in the day 
the drought consumed me, and the frost by night." 

248 Gleanings in Genesis 

There is still another way in which this progressive order 
in the typical foreshadowings of the three great patriarchs 
comes out. This has been forcefully set forth by Mr. P. W. 
Grant who, when commenting on the words of the Lord to 
Moses at the burning bush — ^**say unto the children of Is- 
rael, the God of Abraham, and the Gk)d of Isaac, and the 
God of Jacob sent me unto you ' ' — says, * ' In Abraham we 
find manifested the type of the Father, and in Isaac ad- 
mittedly that of the Son, in Jacob-Israel we find a type 
and pattern of the Spirit's work which is again and again 
dwelt on and expanded in the after-scriptures. Balaam's 
words as to the people, using this double — ^this natural and 
this scriptural — name, are surely as true of the nation's 
ancestors. 'It shall be said of Jacob, and of Israel, what 
hath God wrought?' What God hath wrought is surely 
what in the one now before us we are called in an especial 
way to acknowledge and glory in. For Jacob's (Jod is He 
whom we still know as accomplishing in us by almighty 
power the purposes of sovereign grace. ' ' 

While it is true that each of the three great patriarchs 
exemplified in his own person some fundamental truth of 
Divine revelation, yet it is to be particularly noted that 
each succeeding individual carried forward what had gone 
before, so that nothing was lost. In Abraham we behold the 
truth of election — God's singling of him out from all the 
people on the earth; yet in Isaac the same truth is mani- 
fested, as is evident from the passing by of Ishmael and 
God's declaration that **In Isaac shall thy seed be called." 
Isaac represents the truth of Divine sonship, bom super- 
naturally by the intervention of Gk)d's power. Now in 
Jacob both of these truths, with important additions, are 
also to be observed. Even more notably than in the cases 
of Abraham and Isaac, Jacob is the object of God's sov- 
ereign choice: ** Jacob gives occasion to the exercise of 
God's sovereignty as to the twin children of Isaac and Re- 
bekah. * For they being not yet bom, nor having done any 
good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election 
might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls, it was said 
to their mother, the elder shall serve the younger. ' It had 
been shown before in casting out the bond-woman and her 
son; but so it was now far more emphatically in Jacob 
chosen, not Esau. No flesh shall glory in His sight; in 
Jehovah certainly, as it ought to be. Is man only to think 

The Man Jacob 249 

and ialk of his rights f Sinful man I Has God alone no 
rights f Is He to be a mere registrar of man 's wrongs f Oh I 
his wrongs, not rights: this is the truth, as no believer 
should forget from the dawn of a vital work in his soul I ' ' 
rJacob/'by W.KeUy). 

As the above truth is now so much controverted we sub- 
join a further quotation from the pen of one who is re- 
garded as one of the leading orthodox teachers of our day : 
* * In all this we see the marvel and glory of the Divine sov- 
ereignty. Why the younger son should have been chosen 
instead of the elder we do not know. It is, however, very 
striking to find the same principle exercised on several other 
occasions. It is pretty certain that Abraham was not the 
eldest son of Terah. We know that Isaac was the younger 
son of Abraham, and that Joseph was not the eldest son of 
Jacob. All this goes to emphasize the simple fact that the 
order of nature is not necessarily the order of grace. All 
through, Ood decided to display the sovereignty of His 
grace as contrasted with that which was merely natural in 
human life. The great problem of Divine sovereignty is of 
course insoluable by the human intellect. It has to be ac- 
cepted as a simple fact. It should, however, be observed 
that it is not merely a fact in regard to things spiritual; 
it is found also in nature in connection with human temper- 
aments and races. All history is full of illustrations of the 
Divine choice, as we may see from such examples as Cyrus 
and Pharaoh. Divine election is a fact, whether we can 
understand it or not (italics ours). Ood's purposes are as 
certain, as they are often inscrutable, and it is perfectly evi- 
dent from the ease of Esau and Jacob that the Divine choice 
of men is entirely independent of their merits or of any 
pre-vision of their merits or attainments (Bom. 9: 11). It 
is in connection with this subject that we see the real force 
of St. Paul 's striking words when he speaks of God as act- 
ing ' according to the good pleasure of His will' (Eph. 1:5), 
and although we are bound to confess the ^mystery of His 
will' (Eph. 1:9), we are also certain that He works all 
things 'after the counsel of His will' (Eph. 1:11 — ^italics 
not ours). There is nothing arbitrary about God and His 
ways and our truest wisdom when we cannot understand 
His reasons is to rest quietly and trustfully, saying, ' Even 
sOy Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight.' 'In His 

250 Gleanings in Genesis 

Will is our peace' " (Dr. Griffith^Thomas, Commentary on 

Not only is the Divine sovereignty illustrated in Jacob, 
as in Abraham, but we also see typified in him the truth of 
regeneration (as in the case of Isaac) inasmuch as nature 
was set aside, and only in answer to prayer and by Divine 
intervention was Beb^ah enabled to bear Jacob : see Qen. 

That which is most prominent in the Divine dealings with 
Jacob was the matchless grace of Ood, shown to one so un« 
worthy, the marvellous patience exercised toward one so 
slow of heart to believe, the changeless love which unwear- 
iedly followed him through all his varied course, the faith- 
fulness which no unfaithfulness on Jacob's part could 
change, and the power of Gk>d which effectively preserved 
and delivered him through numerous dangers and which, in 
the end, caused the spirit to triumph over the flesh, trans- 
forming the worm Jacob into Israel the prince of (}od. How 
these Divine perfections were displayed will be discovered 
as we turn our attention to the various scenes in which the 
Holy Spirit has portrayed our patriarch. We turn now to 
look briefly at Jacob in (Genesis 28. 

In our last article we dwelt upon Jacob deceiving his f a^ 
ther, now we see how quickly he began to suffer for his 
wrongdoing! ''And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, 
and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daugh- 
ters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of 
Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from 
thence of the daughters of Laban, thy mother's brother" 
(28 : 1, 2). Jacob is sent away from home, to which he re- 
turns not for many years. In our studies upon Isaac we 
have seen how he foreshadowed those who belong to the 
heavenly calling, whereas, as we have pointed out above, 
Jacob typified the people of the earthly calling. This 
comes out in many incidental details. Isaac was forbidden 
to leave Canaan (type of the Heavenlies) — ^24:5, 6 — and 
his bride was brought to him, but Jacob i^ sent forth out 
of Canaan to the house of his mother's father in quest of a 
wife, and thus was signified the evident contrast between 
Isaac and Jacob, and Jacob 's earthly place and relationship. 

**And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward 
Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried 
there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the 

The Man Jacob 251 

stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay 
down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold 
a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to 
heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and de- 
scending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and 
said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the 
God of Isaac; the land whereon thy liest to thee will I 
give it, and to thy seed ; and thy seed shall be as the dust 
of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, 
and to the east, and to the north, and to the south ; and in 
thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be 
blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in 
all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into 
this land ; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that 
which I have spoken to thee of (28:10-15). There is 
much here that might be dwelt upon with profit to our 
souls, but we can do little more than mention one or two 

Here we behold the marvellous grace of God, which de- 
lights to single out as its objects the most unlikely and un- 
worthy subjects. Here was Jacob a fugitive from his fa- 
ther's house, fleeing from his brother's wrath, with prob- 
ably no thought of God in his mind. As we behold him 
there on the bare ground with nothing but the stones for 
his pillow, enshrouded by the darkness of night, asleep— 
i^mbol of death — ^we obtain a striking and true picture of 
man in his natural state. Man is never so helpless as when 
asleep, and it was while he was in this condition that God 
appeared unto him I What had Jacob done to deserve this 
high honor f What was there in him to merit this wondrous 
privilege f Nothing; absolutely nothing. It was Gk>d in 
grace which now met him for the first time and here gave 
to him and his seed the land whereon he lay. Such is ever 
His way. He pleases to choose the foolish and vile things 
of this world : He selects those who have nothing and gives 
them everything : He singles out those who deserve naught 
but judgment, and bestows on them nothing but blessing. 
But note — and mark it particularly — the recipient of the 
Divine favors must first take his place in the dtist, as Jacob 
here did (on the naked earth) before God will bless him. 

And under what similitude did the Lord now reveal Him- 
self to the worm Jacob f Jacob beheld in his dream a lad- 
der set up on the earth, whose top reached unto heaven, and 

252 Gleanings in Genesis 

from above it the voice of Qod addressed him. Porta* 
nately we are not left to our own speculations to determine 
the signification of this : John 1 : 51 interprets it for us. 
We say fortunately, for if we could not point to John 1 : 51 
in proof of what we advance, some of our readers might 
charge us with indulging in a wild flight of the imagination. 
The *' ladder'* pointed to Christ Himself, the One who 
spanned the infinite gulf which separated heaven from 
earth, and who has in His own person provided a Way 
whereby we may draw near to Qod. That the ** ladder" 
reached from earth to heaven, told of the complete pro- 
vision which Divine grace has made for sinners. Bight 
down to where the fugitive lay, the ladder came, and right 
up to Ood Himself the '^ladder" reached! 

In His address to Jacob, the Lord now repeated the prom- 
ises which He had made before to Abraham and Isaac, with 
the additional assurance that He would be with him, pre- 
serving him wherever he went, and ultimately bringing him 
back to the land. In i>erf ect harmony with the fact that 
Jacob represented the earthly people we may observe here 
that Ood declares Jacob 's seed shall be ' ' as the dust of the 
earth," but no reference is made to ''the stars of heaven!" 

The sequel to this vision may be told in few words. 
Jacob awoke and was afraid, saying, ''How dreadful is this 
place! This is none other but the house of Ood, and this 
is the gate of heaven" (v. 17). Next, he took the stone on 
which his head had rested and poured oil upon it. Then he 
changed the name of the place from Luz to Bethel. It is 
instructive to note this change of name, Luz — its original 
name, signifies "separation," while Bethel, its new name, 
means "the house of Gk>d." Is it not beautiful to mark the 
typical force of thisf Ood calls us to separate from the 
world, but in leaving the world we enter His house} "Never 
do we part from ought at His call, but He far more than 
makes it up to us with His own smile" (W. Lincoln). 

Finally, we are told, "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, 
If Gk>d will be with me, and will keep me in this way that 
I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put <m, 
so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then 
shall the Lord be my Ood. And this stone, which I have 
set for a pillar, shall be Ood 's house, and of all that Thou 
shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto Thee" (28: 
20-22) . How true to life this is ! It was not only character- 

The Man Jacob 253 

istic of Jacob personally, but typical of us representatively. 
Jacob failed to rise to the level of God's grace and was filled 
with fear instead of peace, and expressed human legality by 
speaking of what he will do. Oh, how often we follow in 
his steps! Instead of resting in the goodness of Qod and 
appropriating His free grace, like Jacob, we bargain and 
enter into conditions and stipulations. May the God of 
Qrace enlarge our hearts to receive His grace, and may He 
empower us to magnify His grace by refusing to defile it 
with any of our own wretched additions. 


Genesis 29 

In onr last article we followed Jacob as he left his fa* 
ther's house and commenced his long journey to Padan- 
aram where lived Laban, his mother's brother. On his first 
night out from Beersheba he lit upon a certain place and 
making a pillar of the stones lay down to sleep. Then it 
was that he dreamed, and in the dream the Lord appeared 
unto him, probably for the first time in his life^ and after 
promising to give him the land whereon he lay and to make 
his seed as numerous as the dust of the earth and a bless- 
ing to all families, he received the comforting assurance 
that Ood would be with him, would keep him in all places 
whither he went, and ultimately bring him back again to 
the land given to him and his fathers. In the morning 
Jacob arose, poured oil on the stone pillar, and named the 
place Bethel, which means ' ' The House of God. ' * 

The effect of this experience on Jacob is briefly but 
graphically signified in the opening words of Genesis 29, 
where we read, ^^Then Jacob lifted up his feet, and came 
into the land of the people of the East" (marginal render- 
ing). The heaviness with which he must have left home 
had now gone. Assured of the abiding presence and protec- 
tion of Jehovah, he went on his way light-heartedly. It de- 
serves to be noted that the journey which Jacob had scarce- 
ly begun the previous day was an arduous and difficult one. 
From Beersheba, Isaac's dwelling-place, to Padan-Aram, his 
destination, was a distance of something like five hundred 
miles, and when we remember that he was on foot and alone 
we can the better appreciate the blessed grace of Jehovah 
which met the lonely fugitive the first night, and gave him 
the comforting promise that He was with him and would 
keep him in all places whither he went (28:15). Little 
wonder, then, that now Jacob goes forth so confidently and 
cheerfully. As a Jewish commentator remarks, * ' His heart 
lifted up his feet.'* And, reader, do not we need to be re- 
minded that otir Lord has promised, '^Lo, I am with you 
always, even unto the end"? If our hearts drew from this 
cheering and inspiring promise the comfort and incentive 
it is designed to convey should not we * ' lift up ' ' our feet as 
we journey through this world f Oh I it is unbelief, failure 


Jacob at Padan-Aram 255 

to rest upon the ** exceeding great and precious promises'* 
of our Gk>dy and forgetfulness that He is ever by our side, 
that makes our feet leaden and causes us to drag along so 

The remainder of the long journey seems to have passed 
without further incident, for the next thing we read of is 
that Jacob had actually come into that land which he 
sought. And here we find a striking proof that the Lord 
was with him indeed, for he was guided to a well where he 
met none other than the daughter of the very man with 
whom he was going to make his home! It was not by 
chance that Jacob lit upon that well in the field, nor was it 
by accident that Bachel came to that well just when she 
did. There are no chance-happenings or accidents in a 
world that is governed by God. It was not by chance that 
the Ishmaelites passed by when the brethren of Joseph 
were plotting his death, nor was it an accident they were 
journeying down to Egypt. It was not by chance that 
Pharoh 's daughter went down to the river to bathe, and that 
one of her attendants discovered there the infant Moses in 
the ark of buUrushes. It was not by chance that upon a 
certain night, critical in the history of Israel, that Ash- 
asuerus was unable to sleep and that he should arise and 
read the state-records which contained an entry of how 
Mordecai had foiled an attempt on the King's life, which 
led, in turn, to the saving of Mordecai 's life. So, we say, it 
was not by chance that Jacob now met RacheL No; we 
repeat, there cannot be any chance-happenings in a world 
that is governed by God, still less can there be any accidents 
in the lives of those He is constantly ^^with." My reader, 
there are no chance-happenings, no chance-meetings, no 
chance delays, no chance losses, no chance anythings in our 
lives. AU is of Divine appointment. 

But while we have called attention to Gkxl's faithfulness 
in guiding Jacob to the well where he met Rachel, we must 
not ignore Jacob's personal failure, a noticeable failure of 
omission. As he had come so near to the end of his journey 
and had almost arrived at his destination we would have 
thought, as he reached this well, that now was the time 
for him to very definitely commit himself into the hands of 
God, especially in view of the fact that he was engaged in 
the important and momentous undertaking of seeking a 
Tears before, when the servant of Abraham was upon 

256 Gleanings in Genesis 

a similar mission, seeking a wife for Isaac, when he arriyed 
at a well we are told that ^'he said, Lord Gk>d of my 
master Abraham, I pray Thee, send me good speed this 
day" (24:12). But here in connection with Jacob we 
read of no prayer for Divine guidance and blessing, instead, 
we find him interrogating the Haran shepherds. 

^'And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, 
there were three flocks of sheep lying by it ; for out of that 
well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon 
the well's mouth. And thither were all the flocks gathered : 
and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered 
the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth 
in his place. And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, 
whence be ye f And they said. Of Haran are we. And he 
said unto ^em. Know ye Laban the son of Nahorf And 
they said. We know him. And he said unto them, Is he 
well f And they said, He is well : and, behold, Rachel his 
daughter cometh with the sheep " ( 29 : 2-6 ) . Without doubt 
there is a spiritual meaning to each detail here. It cannot 
be without some good reason that the Spirit of Ood has 
told us this was in a field, that there were three flocks of 
sheep lying by it, and that there was a great stone upon the 
well's mouth. But we confess we discern not their sig- 
niflcance, and where spiritual vision be dim it is idle, or 
worse, to speculate. 

^'Behold, Bachel his daughter cometh with the sheep." 
At mention of Rachel, Jacob acted in a thoroughly charac- 
teristic manner: ''And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, 
neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered to- 
gether: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them" (29 : 7). 
Jacob's design is evident; he sought to send the shepherds 
away, so that be might be alone when he met RacheL But 
his design was foiled, ''and while he yet spake with them, 
Rachel came with her father's sheep: for she kept them." 
And then follows a touching description of the meeting 
between Jacob and this young woman who was to become 
his wife. 

"And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daugh- 
ter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban 
his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the 
stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban 
his mother's brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted 
up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he 

Jacob at Padan-Aram 257 

was her father's brother, and that he was Bebekah's son: 
and she ran and told her father" (29 : 10-12) . These verses 
shed an interesting light on Jacob's natural character. 
Bachel's appearance awakened within him all the warmth 
of natural feeling. He courteously rolled away the stone, 
watered the sheep, kissed Rachel and burst into tears. The 
remembrance of home and the relationship of his mother to 
Bachel overpowered him — ^note the threefold reference to 
his mother in verse 10: ''When Jacob saw Rachel the 
daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of 
Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and 
rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the 
flock of Laban his mother's brother." Jacob, then, was no 
cold, calculating stoic, but was of a warm disposition, and 
everything that revived the memory of his mother went to 
his heart. What a lovely human touch this gives to the 
picture I Nothing is trivial with Gk>d. 

''And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of 
Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and em- 
braced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. 
And he told Laban all these things. And Laban said to 
him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode 
with him tibe space of a month" (29 : 13, 14). The plan of 
Jacob's mother seemed to be working very well. Every- 
thing appeared to be running very smoothly. Esau had been 
left behind at a safe distance, the long journey from Beer- 
sheba to Padan-aram had been covered without harm, little 
or no difficulty had been experienced in locating his mother's 
brother. Rachel had shown no resentment at Jacob's affec- 
tionate greeting, and now Laban himself had accorded the 
fugitive a warm welcome, and for a whole month nothing 
seems to have broken their serenity. And what of Oodf 
What of His moral government? What of the law of 
retribution? Was Jacob to suffer nothing for his wrong- 
doing? Was the deception he had practiced upon Isaac to 
escape unnoticed f Would it, in his case, fail to appear that 
"the way of the transgressor is hard"? (Pro. 13: 15). Ahl 
be not deceived ; Ood is not mocked. Sometimes the actions 
of God's government may appear to move slowly, but sooner 
or later they are sure. Often-times this is overlooked. Men 
take too short a view: "Because sentence against an evil 
work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the 
sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Ecc. 8: 11). 

258 Gleanings in Genesis 

It is in the sequel that God is vindicated. History in frag- 
ments denies Ood, but history as a whole is seen to be His 
story. Look at the cruel Egyptian task-masters and at the 
helpless Hebrews. They cried to Heaven, and for years it 
seemed as though Heaven was deaf. But the sequel showed 
God had seen and heard, and in the sequel His righteous 
government was vindicated. We have had striking illus- 
trations of this abiding principle in the history of our own 
times. A few years ago we were horrified by the Belgian 
atrocities on the Congo, and equally so by the cruel in- 
humanities practiced by the Russians upon the Jews. But 
behold the sequel — mark Belgium and Russia today ! Yes, 
the way of the transgressor is hard, and so Jacob found it in 
the sequel. 

''And Laban said imto Jacob, Because thou art my 
brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought f Tell 
me, what shall thy wages bef" (29:15). Here was the 
first cloud on Jacob's horizon, and the first appearing of 
the Divine rod of chastisement. Here, too, was a most 
striking example of the law of righteous retribution. Jacob 
was about to begin reaping that which he had sown. Per- 
haps this is not apparent on the surface, so we tarry to 
explain. It will be remembered that the end before Jacob 
and his mother in their scheming and lying was that he 
should secure from Isaac the blessing which was the portion 
of the first bom. What this blessing was we know from 
the words of the Lord to Rebekah before her sons were 
bom, words which expressly declared that Jacob should 
receive the first-bom's portion — ^'Hhe elder shall serve the 
younger'' (25:23). That, then, upon which Jacob had set 
his heart, and that which he had sought to obtain from 
Isaac by a wicked device, was the position of dignity and 
honor. Instead of serving he wanted to be served. How 
striking, then, to note that the very first word spoken by 
Laban after Jacob had enjoyed the hospitality of his house 
for a month, concerned that of service I How significant 
that Jacob should have fallen into the hands of a crafty 
schemer! Laban was glad to receive Jacob into his house- 
hold, but even though his nephew he did not intend that he 
should remain on indefinitely as a guest. No, he meant to 
profit by Jacob 's presence, and so seeks to strike a bargain, 
lets Jacob know that if he remained with him it must be in 
the capacity of a servant, and so raises the question of 

Jacob at Padan-Aram 259 

^Vages.'' This must have been a bitter portion for Jacob 
and a painful blow to his pride. He was beginning to learn 
that the way of the transgressor is hard. 

But ^hat follows is even more remarkable: ^'And Laban 
had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah^ and 
the name of the younger was BacheL Leah was tender* 
eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favored. And 
Jacob loved Rachel ; and said, I will serve thee seven years 
for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is 
better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her 
to another man : abide with me. And Jacob served seven 
years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few 
days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto 
Laban, Qive me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I 
may go in unto her. And Laban gathered together aU the 
men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass 
in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought 
her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave 
unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. 
And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold it was 
Leah : and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done 
imto mef did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore 
then hast thou beguiled me f And Laban said, It must not 
be so done in our country, to give the younger before the 
first-bom. Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also 
for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven 
other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: 
and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also" (29 : 16- 
28). The quotation is a lengthy one but it was necessary 
to give it in full so that the reader might be able to follow 
our remarks upon it. In the preceding paragraph we have 
seen how that the first lesson Gk>d was now teaching Jacob 
was that of humble suhmimon — if he had refused to submit 
to God then he must submit to ^^ serve" a human master. 
Here, in this quotation, we discover the second lesson that 
Jacob must learn was to respect the rights of the firsUbomI 
This was just what Jacob had disregarded in connection 
with Esau, so that which he had ignored concerning his 
brother he must bow to in connection with his wife. In the 
third place, mark how Qod was correcting the impatience of 
our patriarch. It was because he had refused to wait Ood^s 
time for the fulfillment of His promise (as per 25: 23) that 
he had involved himself in so much trouble, and had to 

260 Gleanings in Genesis 

leave home and flee from Esau ; how fitting then he should 
now be obliged to wait seven years before he could obtain 
Bachel, and that he should be made to serve a further seven 
years for her after they were married ! 

In drawing this article to a close we would seek to expand 
briefly what seems to us to be the outstanding principle in 
the scripture we have just examined, namely, the principle 
of Divine retribution. **Even as I have seen, they that 
plough iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same'' (Job 
4:8). In Laban's treatment of Jacob we see the deceiver 
deceived! This principle that whatsoever a man soweth 
that shall he also reap is writ large across the pages of 
Holy Scripture and is strikingly, nay marvelously, illus- 
trated again and again. Pharaoh, King of Egjrpt, gave 
orders that every son of the Hebrews should be drowned 
(Ex. 1 : 22), and so in the end he was drowned (Ex. 14 : 28). 
Korah caused a cleft in the Congregation of Israel (Num. 
16: 2, 3), and so God made a cleft in the earth to swallow 
him (Num. 16:30). Again, we read of one Adoni-bezek 
that he fled, ' * and they pursued after him, and caught him, 
and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adoni- 
bezek said, Three score and ten kings, having their thumbs 
and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my 
table: as I have done, so Ood hath requited me!" (Judges 
1:6, 7). Wicked Ahab caused Naboth to be slain and the 
dogs came and licked up his blood (1 Kings 21 : 19), accord- 
ingly we read that when Ahab died he was buried in 
Samaria, '^And one washed the chariot (in which he had 
been slain) in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up 
his blood'' (1 Kings 22 : 38). King Asa caused the prophet 
to be placed in '^the house of the stocks'' (2 Chron. 16: 10 
R. v.), and accordingly we read later that God punished 
him by a disease in his feet (1 Kings 15 : 23) . Haman pre- 
pared a gallows for Mordecai, but was hanged upon it him- 
self (Esther 7:10). Saul of Tarsus stood by and con- 
sented to the stoning of Stephen, and later we read that at 
Lystra the Jews stoned Paul (Acts 14: 19) — this is the more 
noticeable because Barnabas who was with him escaped I 

But the most striking example of what men term ' * poetic 
justice '^ is the case of Jacob himself. First, he deceived 
his father and was, in turn, deceived by his father-in-law: 
Jacob came the younger for the elder to deceive Isaac, and 
has the elder daughter of Laban given instead of the 

Jacob at Padan-Aram 261 

younger for a wife. Second, we may mark the same prin- 
ciple at work in Jacob's wife. In deceiving Jacob in the 
matter of Leah, Laban tricked Rachel ; later we find Rachel 
tricking Laban (31 : 35). Again^ we note how a mercenary 
spirit actuated Jacob in buying the birthright from Esau 
for a mess of pottage ; the sequel to this was the mercenary 
Cfpirit in Laban which caused him to change Jacob's wages 
ten times (see 31:41). Finally we may remark, what is 
most striking of all, that Jacob deceived Isaac by allowing 
his mother to cover his hands and neck with ' ' the skins of 
the kids of the goats'' (27: 16), and later Jacob's sons de- 
ceived him by dipping the coat of Joseph in the blood of 
'^a kid of the goats'' (37:31) and making him believe an 
evil beast had devoured him : note, too, that Jacob deceived 
Isaac in regard to his favorite son (Esau), and so was Jacob 
deceived in regard to his favorite son (Joseph). 

"While it is true that very often the connection "between 
evil-doing and its evil consequences is not so apparent as 
in the above examples, nevertheless, God has given us, and 
still gives us, sufficient proof so as to provide us with 
solemn warnings of the fact that He is not mocked^ that He 
does observe the ways of men, that He hates sin wherever it 
is found, and that His righteous government requires that 
'^ every transgression and disobedience" shall receive ^'a 
just recompense of reward" (Heb. 2:2). This **just re- 
compense of reward" is visited upon His own children here 
in this world, not sent in anger but in love, not in judgment 
but directed to the conscience and heart so as to bring them 
to judge themselves for their evil doing. With the wicked 
it is often otherwise. Frequently they flourish here as a 
green bay tree, but at the Great White Throne the books 
shall be opened and every one of them shall be '' judged 
according to their works." 

Should one who is out of Christy a lost sinner, have read 
this article, let it be unto him as a voice crying ' ' Flee from 
the wrath to come ; ' ' flee to the Lord Jesus, the Saviour, 
the only Refuge, who came into this world to save sinners. 
And, let the Christian reader learn anew the exceeding sin- 
fulness of sin, and earnestly seek grace to enable him to 
crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts so that he may 
''sow to the Spirit," then shall he ''of the Spirit reap life 




Genesis 29, 30 

Jacob's stay at Padan-Aram was a lengthy one, much 
longer than he imagined when he first went there, so little 
do any of us know what the immediate future holds for us. 
We move to some place expecting to settle there, and lo, in 
a short time, God calls us to strike our tents and move to 
another region. Or, we go to a place thinking it is only for 
a transient visit, but remain there many years. So it was 
with Jacob. How blessed to remember, **My times are in 
Thy hand'* (Ps. 31: 15). 

A somewhat lengthy account is given describing Jacob 's 
sojourn in Laban's home. It is not our aim to expound 
in detail this section of Gknesis — ^abler pens have done that; 
rather shall we proffer a few general remarks upon some 
of the outstanding features which are of special interest 
and importance. 

The thirtieth chapter of Oenesis is not pleasant reading, 
yet is it, like every other in the Old Testament, recorded 
for our learning. No reflecting Christian mind can read 
through this chapter without being disgusted with the fruit- 
age and consequences of polygamy as therein described. 
The domestic discords, the envies and jealousies between 
Jacob's several wives, forcibly illustrate and demonstrate 
the wisdom and goodness of God 's law that each man should 
have his own wife, as well as each woman her own husband. 
Example is better than precept, and in Gen. 30 the Holy 
Spirit sets before us an example of what a plurality of 
wives must necessarily result in — discord, jealousy and 
hatred. Let us thank God, then, for giving to us His writ- 
ten precepts to regulate the marriage relationship, the ob- 
servance of which is necessary not only for the protection 
of the purity of the home but for its peace and happiness 
as well. 

Though the strifes and jealousies of Jacob's wives were 
indeed distressing and disgusting yet, we must not at- 
tribute their desire for children, or the devices they resorted 
to in order to obtain them, to mere carnal motives. Had 
there been nothing more than this the Holy Spirit would 
not have condescended to record them. There can be little 
doubt that the daughters of Laban were influenced by the 


Jacob at Padan-Aratn, continued 263 

promises of Qod to Abraham, on whose posterity were en- 
tailed the richest blessings, and from whom the Messiah 
Himself, in the fullness of time, was to descend. It was 
faith in these promises which made every pious woman of 
those times desirous of being a mother, and that explains 
why we read so often of Hebrew women praying so ear- 
nestly for this honor. 

In the previous article we dwelt at some length on the 
law of retribution as it was exemplified in the history of 
Jacob. In an unmistakable and striking manner it is shown 
again and again in the inspired narrative how that he 
reaped just what he had sown. Yet it must be borne in 
mind that in dealing retributively with Jacob God was not 
acting in wrath but in love, holy love it is true, for Divine 
love is never exercised at the expense of holiness. Thus, in 
this evident retribution God was speaking to our Patriarch's 
conscience and heart. A further illustration of the righteous- 
ness of God's governmental dealings is here seen, in that, 
now Jacob had obtained Laban's first-bom daughter his 
desire was thwarted — she was barren. As another has re- 
marked, ''God would have His servant Jacob learn more 
deeply in his own wounded affections the vileness of self- 
seeking deceit, and hence He permitted what He would use 
for chastening and good in the end." (W. K.) 

That which occupies the most prominent place in the 
passage we are now considering is the account there given 
of the birth and naming of Jacob's twelve sons by his dif- 
ferent wives. Here the record is quite full and explicit. 
Not only is the name of each child given, but in every in- 
stance we are told the meaning of the name and that which 
occasioned the selection of it. This would lead us to con- 
clude there is some important lesson or lessons to be learned 
here. This chapter traces the stream back to its source and 
shows us the beginnings of the twelve Patriarchs from which 
the twelve-tribed Nation sprang. Then, would not this 
cause us to suspect that the meaning of the names of these 
twelve Patriarchs and that which occasioned the selection 
of each name, here so carefully preserved, must be closely 
connected with the early history of the Hebrew Nation f 
Our suspicion becomes a certainty when we note the order 
in which the twelve Patriarchs were bom, for the circum- 
stances which gave rise to their several names correspond 

264 Gleanings in Genesis 

exactly with the order of the history of the Children of 

Others before us have written much upon the twelve 
Patriarchs, the typical significance of their names, and the 
order in which they are mentioned. It has been pointed out 
how that the Gospel and the history of a sinner saved by 
grace is here found in veiled form. For example : Reuben, 
Jacob's first-bom, means. See, a Son I This is just what 
Ood says to us through the Gospel : to the Son of His love 
we are invited to look — ^ ' Behold the lamb of God. ' ' Then 
comes Simeon whose name signifies Hearing and this points 
to the reception of the Gospel by faith, for faith cometh 
by hearing, and the promise is, ' ' Hear, and your soul shall 
live. ' ' Next in order is Levi, and his name means Joined, 
telling of the blessed Union by which the Holy Spirit makes 
us one with the Son through the hearing of the Word. In 
Judah, which means Praise, we have manifested the Divine 
life in the believer, expressed in joyous gratitude for the 
riches of grace which are now his in Christ. Dan means 
Judgment, and this tells of how the believer uncompromis- 
ingly passes sentence upon himself, not only for what he has 
done but because of what he is, and thus he reckons him- 
self to have died imto sin. Naphtali means Wrestling and 
speaks of that earnestness in prayer which is the veiy 
breath of the new life. Next is Gad which means a Troop 
or Company f speaking, perhaps of the believer in fellow- 
ship with the Lord's people, and Jacob's eighth son an- 
nounces the effect of Christian fellowship, for Asher meani 
Happy. Issachar means Hire, and speaks of service, and 
Zebulon which signifies Dwelling reminds us that we are 
to ' * occupy ' ' till Christ comes ; while Joseph which means 
Adding tells of the reward which He will bestow on those 
who have served diligently and occupied faithfully. Ben- 
jamin, the last of Jacob 's sons, means Son of my right hand, 
again speaking directly of Christ, and so the circle ends 
where it begins — with our blessed Lord, for He is ' * The First 
and the Last." 

There is, then, a typical significance behind the meaning 
of the names of Jacob 's twelve sons, and we believe there is 
also a prophetic significance behind the carefully preserved 
record of the words used by the mothers upon the naming 
of their sons, a significance which must be apparent to all, 
once it is pointed out. In view of the fact that the Hebrew 

Jacob at Padan-Aram, continued 265 

nation became known as the children of Israel, it is to be 
expected that we should look closely at the children of 
Jacob, from whom the nation took its name. And further, 
in view of the fact that Gen. 29, 30 records the early history 
of Jacob 's twelve sons, we should expect to find their history 
in some way corresponds with the early history of the 
Nation descended from them. Such is indeed the case, as 
we shall now endeavor to set before the reader. 

What we have written above in connection with the 
typical significance of the names of Jacob's twelve sons is 
no doubt, with perhaps slight variations, well known to 
our readers. But it is to be noted that in addition to the 
naming of the twelve Patriarchs, Gen. 29 and 30 records the 
circumstances which gave rise to the selection of their re- 
spective names, for in each case a reason is given why they 
received the names they did, yet, so far as we are aware, 
little or no attention at all has been paid to this feature. 
We are fully satisfied, however, that the words uttered by 
the respective mothers of these twelve sons on the occasion 
of their births, is not without some special significance, and 
it behooves us to enquire prayerfully into the Spirit's pur- 
pose in so carefully preserving a record of them. 

Jacob's first son was bom to him by Leah, and was 
named Reuben, and upon giving her son this name she said, 
'^ Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction' ' (Gten. 
29: 32). The second son was also borne by Leah and was 
named Simeon, and her reason for thus naming him was 
as follows, '^ Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated" 
(Gen. 29 : 33). The striking resemblance between these two 
utterances and what is recorded in Exodus in connection 
with the sufiierings of Israel in Egypt is at once apparent. 
First, we read that ''God looked upon the Children of 
Israel" (Ex. 2:25). Then, unto Moses He said, ''I have 
surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt" 
(Ex. 3:7). Then, corresponding with the words of Leah 
when Simeon was bom. He adds, ''And have heard their 
ciy" (Ex. 3:7). It is surely something more than a mere 
coincidence that at the birth of Israel's first two sons their 
mother should have spoken of ''affliction," which she said 
the Lord hath "looked upon" and "heard," and that these 
identical words should be found in the passage which de- 
scribes the first stage in the national history of the Children 
of Israel who were then "hated" and "afflicted" by the 

266 Gleanings in Genesis 

cruel Egyptians. When the Lord told Moses He had seen 
the ''affliction'' of His people Israel and had ''heard'' their 
cry, did He not have in mind the very words which Leah 
had uttered long years before ! 

Jacob's third son was named Levi, and at his birth his 
mother said, "This time will my htishand be joined to me" 
(Oen. 29: 34). Again these words of the mother point us 
forward to the beginning of Israel's national history. When 
was it that Jehovah was "joined" to Israel, and became her 
"husband"? It was on the eve of their leaving Egypt on 
the night of the Passover when the lamb was slain and its 
blood shed and sprinkled. Then it was Jehovah was 
"joined" to His people — ^just as now God is joined to us 
and becomes one with us only in Christ : it is in the Lamb 
slain, now glorified, that God and the believing sinner meet. 
And then it was that Jehovah entered into covenant rela- 
tionship with the chosen Nation, and became their "Hus- 
band." Note how this very word is used in Jeremiah, and 
mark how this reference points back to the Passover night : 
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a 
new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House 
of Judah : Not according to the covenant I made with their 
fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring 
them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they 
brake, although I was an Husband unto them, saith the 
Lord" (Jer. 31:31,32). 

Jacob's fourth son was Judah, and upon his birth the 
mother said, "Now will I praise the Lord" (Gen. 29:85). 
As Leah 's words at Levi 's birth point us back to the Pass- 
over, so her words at Judah 's birth carry us forward to the 
crossing of the Red Sea, where Israel celebrated Jehovah's 
victory over their foes in song and praised the Lord for 
their wondrous deliverance. Then it was that, for the first 
time, Israel sang: "Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among 
the gods f Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in 
praises f doing wonders f" (Ex. 15:11.) Mark, too, that 
the Psalmist when referring back to this momentous event 
said, * * And the waters covered their enemies : there was not 
one of them left. Then believed they His words : they sang 
His prawc" (Psa. 106: 11, 12). 

Next comes Dan, and upon his birth Bachel said, "God 
hath judged me" (Gen. 30:6). If the line of interpre- 
tation and application we are now working out be cor- 

Jacob at Padan-Aram, continued 267 

rect, then these words o£ Rachel, following those of Leah 
at the birth of Judah, which as we have seen carry us, 
prophetically, to the Bed Sea, will bear upon the early 
experiences of Israel in their Wilderness wanderings. Such, 
indeed, we believe to be the case. Do not the above words 
of Rachel, '^Ood hath judged me," i>oint us to the dis* 
pleasure and ''wrath'' of God against Israel when, in re- 
sponse to their ''murmuring" He sent the "quails," and 
when again they provoked His wrath at the waters of 
Massah and Merribah t 

At the birth of Jacob's sixth son Rachel exclaimed^ 
"With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and 
I have prevailed*' (Gen. 30:8). How strikingly this cor- 
responds with Israel 's history I The very next thing we read 
of after that God ' ' judged ' ' Israel for their sin at Merribah 
was their conflict or "wrestling" with Amalek, and again 
be it particularly noted that the self -same word used by 
Rachel at the birth of Napthali is used in describing the 
"wrestling" between Israel and Amalek, for in Ex. 17: 11 
we read, "And it came to pass, when Moses held up his 
hand, that Israel prevailed : and when he let down his hand, 
Amalek prevailed/' Surely it is something more than mere 
coincidence that the very word used by the mother of 
Napthali should occur twice in the verse which records that 
in Israel's histoiy which her words prophetically antici- 
pated; the more so, that it agrees so accurately with the 
order of events in Israel 's history. 

The utterances of the mother of the seventh and eighth 
sons of Jacob may be coupled together, as may also those 
connected with the birth of his ninth and tenth sons. At 
the birth of Gad it was said, "A troop cometh" (Gen. 30: 
11), which perfectly agrees with the order of Israel's his- 
tory, for after the Wilderness had been left behind and the 
Jordan crossed, a ' ' troop ' ' indeed ' ' came ' ' to meet Israel, 
the seven nations of the Ganaanites seeking to oppose their 
occupation of the promised land. The words of the mother 
of Asher, the next son, ^^ Happy am /" (Gen. 30 : 13), tell of 
Israel's joy following the overthrow of their foes, Then^ 
the wordb of Leah at the birth of Jacob's ninth and tenth 
sons, namely "God, hath given me my hire" (Gten. 30: 18), 
and "God hath endued me with a good dowry" (Gen. 
30: 20), tell of Israel's occupation of the goodly inheritance 
with which Jehovah had "endowed" them. Then, just as 

268 Gleanings in Genesis 

there was a break or interval before the last two sons were 
born, and just as these two completed Jacob's family, and 
realized his long cherished desire, inasmuch as they were 
bom to him by his beloved Rachel, so her words, * * The Lord 
shall add to me another son" (GFen. 30: 24), and ''The son 
of my sorrow * * changed by the father to * * Son of my right 
hand" (Gen. 35:18), would point to the completion of 
Israel's history as an undivided nation and the realization 
of their long cherished desire^ in the giving to them a King, 
even David, to whom was ''added" only one "other," 
namely, Solomon ; and the double sentence uttered at Ben- 
jamin 's birth was surely appropriate as a prophetic intima- 
tion of Solomon 's course — so bright, yet so dark — for while 
in his reign the Kingdom attained its highest dignity and 
glory (the position signified by the "right hand"), yet, 
nevertheless, from the time of Solomon's coronation began 
Israel 's sorrowful decline and apostai^. 

Thus we have sought to show how the utterances of the 
mothers of Jacob's twelve sons were so many prophetic 
intimations of the course of the history of the Nation which 
descended from them, and that the order of the sayings of 
these mothers corresponds with the order of Israel 's history, 
outlining that history from its beginning in Egypt until the 
end of the undivided Kingdom in the days of Solomon, for 
it was then the history of Israel as a nation terminated, the 
ten tribes going into captivity, from which they have never 
returned, almost immediately after. 

To complete the study of this hidden but wonderful 
prophecy, particular attention should be paid to the way 
in which Jacob's sons were grouped under their different 
mothers, for this also corresponds exactly with the group- 
ing of the outstanding events in Israel's history. The 
first four sons were all home by Leah, and her utterances 
all pointed forward to one group of incidents, namely, Is- 
rael's deliverance from Egypt and the Egyptians. The 
fifth and sixth sons were borne by a different mother, name- 
ly, Bilhah, and her utterances pointed to a distinct series 
of events in Israel's history, namely, to their experiences 
in the Wilderness. The seventh and eighth sons were 
borne by Zilpah, and the ninth and tenth by Leah, and 
their utterances, closely connected yet distinct, i>ointed, 
prophetically, to Israel's occupation and enjoyment of Ca- 
naan. The eleventh and twelfth sons were separated from 

Jacob at Padan-Aram, continued 269 

all the others, being borne by Rachael, and so also that to 
which her words at their births pointed forward to, was 
also clearly separated from the early events of Israel 's his- 
tory, carrying us on to the establishment of the Kingdom in 
the days of David and Solomon. 

In drawing this article to a close, one or two reflections 
upon the ground we have covered will, perhaps, be in place : 

First, What a striking proof of the Divine inspiration of 
Scripture is here furnished ! Probably no uninspired writer 
would have taken the trouble to inform us of the words used 
by those mothers in the naming of their boys — where can be 
found in all the volumes of secular history one that re- 
cords the reason why the parent gave a certain name to his 
or her child f But there was a good and sufficient reason 
why the words of Jacob's wives should he preserved — ^un- 
known to themselves their lips were guided by Gkxl, and 
the Holy Spirit has recorded their utterances because they 
carried with them a hidden, but real, prophetic signifi- 
cance; and in that recording of them, and their perfect 
agreement with the outstanding events in the history of 
Israel, in which, though centuries afterward, these prophetic 
utterances received such striking fulfillment, we have an 
unmistakable proof of the Divine inspiration of the Scrip- 

Second, What an object lesson is there here for us that 
nothing in Scripture is trivial or meaningless ! It is to be 
feared that many of us dishonor Qod's Word by the un- 
worthy thoughts which we entertain about it. We are free 
to acknowledge that much in the Bible is sublime and Di- 
vine, yet there is not a little in it in which we can see- no 
beauty or value. But that is due to the dimness of our 
vision and not in anywise to any imperfection in the 
Word. *^AU Scripture *' is given by inspiration of God, 
the proper nouns as much as the common nouns, the genea- 
logical lists equally as much as the lovely lyrics of the 
Psalmist. Who would have thought that there was any- 
thing of significance in the meaning of the names of Jacob's 
sonst Who would have supposed that it was of first im- 
portance that we should note the order in which they were 
bomt Who would have imagined there was a wondrous 
prophecy beneath the words used by the mothers on the 
occasion of them naming their sonst Whot Each and all 
of us ought to have done so. Once we settle it for good and 

270 Gleanings in Genesis 

all that there is nothing in the Bible which is trivial and 
meaningless, once we are assured that everything in Scrip- 
ture, each word, has a significance and value, then we shall 
prayerfully ponder every section, and expect to find ''hid 
treasures" (Pro v. 2:4) in every list of names, and accord- 
ing unto our faith so it will be unto us. 

Third, What a remarkable illustration and demonstra- 
tion of the absolute Sovereignty of God is found here in 
Genesis 29 and 30 1 What a proof that God does rule and 
overuie I What a showing forth of the fact that even in our 
smallest actions we are controlled by the Most High! All 
unconsciously to themselves, these wives of Jacob in nam- 
ing their babies and in stating the reasons for these names, 
were outlining the Gospel of (Jod's Grace and were pro- 
phetically foreshadowing the early history of the Nation 
which descended from their sons. If then these women, in 
the naming of their sons and in the utterances which fell 
from their lips at that time were unknown to themselves, 
guided hy Ood, then, verily, God is Sovereign indeed. And 
80 affirms His Word, for OF HIM, and through Him, and 
to Him, are all things.'' (Bom. 11:36.) 



Genesis 31 

Before Jacob had ever set foot in Padan-Aram Jehovah, 
the Qod of Abraham and the Gk>d of Isaac, had said to him, 
^'Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places 
whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land ; 
for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I 
have spoken to thee of/' (Gen. 28:15.) And now the 
time had drawn near when our patriarch was to return to 
the promised land. He was not to spend the remainder of 
his days in his uncle 's household ; Qod had a different pur- 
pose than that for him, and all things were made to work 
together for the furtherance of that purpose. But not until 
Otod 's hour was ripe must Jacob leave Padan-Aram. Some 
little while before Ood's time had come, Jacob assayed to 
leave: '^And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne 
Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, send me away, that I 
may go unto mine own place, and to my country." (30: 
25.) Apparently Laban was reluctant to grant this request, 
and so offered to raise his wages as an inducement for 
Jacob to remain with him, ^^And Laban said unto him, I 
pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry: for 
I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me 
for thy sake. And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I 
will give it.'* (30: 20, 28.) Ere proceeding with the nar- 
rative the above words of Laban deserve to be noticed. This 
was a remarkable confession of Jacob 's uncle — ^ ' The Lord 
hath blessed me for thy sake/' Laban was not blessed for 
his own sake, nor on account of any good deeds he had 
done; but he was blessed ''for the sake'' of another. Was 
not Ood here setting forth under a figure the method or 
principle by which He was going to bless sinners, namely, 
for the sake of another who was dear to Him t Do not these 
words of Laban anticipate the Gospel t and point forward 
to the present time when we read "(Jod for Christ's sake 
hath forgiven you*' (Eph. 4: 32), and again in 1 John 2: 
12 *'your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.'' Yes, 
this is the blessed truth foreshadowed in Gen. 30 : 27 : Gk>d 
blessed Laban for Jacob's sake. So again we read in Gen. 
39: 15 concerning Potiphar, '*The Lord blessed the Egyi)- 


272 Gleanings in Genesis 

tian's house for Joseph's sake/' And again we have an- 
other beautiful illustration of this same precious fact and 
truth in 2 Sam. 9:1: '^And David said, Is there yet any 
that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kind- 
ness far Jofiathan's sake.'' Reader, have you apprehended 
this saving truth t That for which we are accepted and 
saved by God is, not any work of righteousness which we 
have done, nor even for our believing — ^necessary though 
that be — ^but simply and solely for Christ's sake. 

The sequel would seem to show that Jacob accepted 
Laban's offer, and decided to prolong his stay. Instead, 
however, of leaving himself at the mercy of his grasping 
and deceitful uncle, who had already ''changed his wages 
ten times'* (see Gen. 31:7), Jacob determined to outwit 
the one whom he had now served for upwards of twenty 
years by suggesting a plan which left him master of the 
situation, and promised to greatly enrich him. (See Qea. 
30:31-42.) Much has been written concerning this de- 
vice of Jacob to get the better of Laban and at the same 
time secure for himself that which he had really earned, 
and varied have been the opinions expressed. One thing 
seems clear : unless God had prospered it Jacob 's plan had 
failed, for something more than sticks from which a part 
of the bark had been removed was needed to make the 
cattle bear ''ringstreaked, speckled, and spotted" young 
ones. (Gen. 30:39.) 

The outcome of Jacob's device is stated in the last verse 
of Gen. 30: ''And the man increased exceedingly, and had 
much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and 
camels, and asses." This intimates that some little time 
must have elapsed since our patriarch suggested (30 : 25) 
leaving his uncle. Now that prosperity smiled upon him 
Jacob was, apparently, well satisfied to remain where he 
was, for though Laban was no longer as friendly as hitherto, 
and though Laban's sons were openly jealous of him (31 : 
1, 2) we hear no more about Jacob being anxious to depart. 
But, as we have said, God 's time for him to leave had almost 
arrived; and so we read, "And the Lord said unto Jacob, 
Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; 
and I will be with thee." (31 : 3.) 

God timed this word to Jacob most graciously. The 
opening verses of Gen. 31 show there was not a little envy 
and evilmindedness at work in the family against him. Not 

Jacob's Departure from Haran 27S 

only were Laban's sons murmuring at Jacob's prosperity, 
but their father was plainly of the same mind and bore an 
unkindly demeanor toward his nephew — ^ ' And Jacob beheld 
the countenance of Laban, and behold, it was not toward 
him as before." The Lord had promised to be with Jacob, 
and to keep him in all places whither he went, and he now 
makes good His word. Like a watchful friend at hand. He 
observes his treatment and bids him depart. As another 
has well said, ' ' If Jacob had removed from mere personal 
resentment, or as stimulated only by a sense of injury, he 
might have sinned against Gtod, though not against Laban. 
But when it was said to him ' Return unto the land of thy 
fathers and to thy kindred, and I will be with thee,' his 
way was plain before him. In all our removals, it becomes 
us to act as that we may hope for the Divine presence and 
blessing to attend us; else, though we may flee from one 
trouble, we shall fall into many, and be less able to endure 
them. ' ' ( Andrew Puller. ) 

' * And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of 
thy fathers, and to thy kindred ; and I will be with thee." 
(31: 3.) What a showing forth of Gkxl's wondrous grace 
was this! In all that is told us about Jacob during the 
twenty years he spent at Padan-Aram there was not a word 
which intimates he had any dealings with God during that 
time. There is no mention of any ''altar," no reference to 
prayer, nothing to distinguish him from a thorough world- 
ling. It needs to be remembered that the ''altar" speaks 
not only of sacrifice but of communion too. The altar 
pointed forward to Christ, and it is only in Him that God 
and the redeemed sinner meet and commune together. 
Jacob, then, had no altar in Padan-Aram because he was 
out of communion with Jehovah. "Although God in His 
faithfulness be with us, we are not always with Him." 
(J. N. D.) But if Jacob had forgotten the Lord, Jehovah 
had not forgotten him ; and now that Jacob begins to be in 
real need the Lord spoke the suited word. Yet mark the 
other side. 

Having been warned of God to depart, Jacob sends for 
his wives into the field, where he might converse with them 
freely on the subject, without danger of being overheard. 
(See 31: 4-13.) The reasons he names for leaving were 
partly the treatment of Laban, and partly the intimations 
of God — ^"I see your father's countenance that it is not 

274 Gleanings in Genesis 

toward me as before. ' ' Mr. Fuller 's practical observations 
on these words are so good we cannot refrain from quoting 
them: '"It is wisely ordered that the countenance should, 
in most cases, be an index to the heart ; else there would be 
much more deception in the world than there is. We gather 
more of men's disposition toward us from their looks than 
their words ; and domestic happiness is more influenced by 
the one than by the other. Sullen silence is often more in- 
tolerable than contention itself, because the latter, painful 
as it is, affords opportunity for mutual explanation. But 
while Jacob had to complain at Laban 's cloudy countenance 
he could add, ' The Ood of my father hath been with me. ' 
Ood's smiles are the best support under man's frowns; if 
we walk in the light of His countenance we need not fear 
what man can do unto us.' ' 

Having talked the matter over with his wives, and ob- 
tained their consent to accompany him, the next thing was 
to prepare for their departure. Had Laban known what was 
in his nephew 's mind there is reason to fear he would have 
objected, perhaps have used force to detain him, or at least 
deprived him of the greater part of his possessions. Acting 
with his usual caution, Jacob waited until Laban was a 
three days' journey away from home, absent at a sheep- 
shearing. Taking advantage of this, Jacob, accompanied 
by his wives, his children, and his flocks, ** stole away un- 
awares to Laban." (31: 20.) How little there was of 
Divine guidance and of faith in Jehovah in this stealth I 
Not of him could it be said ' ^ For ye shall not go out with 
haste, nor by flight ; for the Lord will go before you ; and the 
Gk)d of Israel will be your rearward. ' ' (Isa. 52 : 12.) That 
the Holy Spirit was not here leading is made still more evi- 
dent by what is told us in verse 19: ''And Rachel had 
stolen the teraphim that were her father's." It may be of 
interest to some of our readers if we here digress again and 
contemplate these teraphim in the light of other scriptures. 

Scholars tell us that the word ** teraphim" may be traced 
to a Syrian root which means *'to enquire. "• This explains 
the reason why Rachel took with her these family "gods" 
when her husband stole away surreptitiously from her home 
— ^it was to prevent her father from * enquiring" of these 
idol ''oracles" and thus discovering the direction in which 
they had gone. lifark that Laban calls these teraphim his 

* Probably tha name "teraphim^* was originally a corruption of cherubim. 

Jacob's Departure from Haran 275 

* ' gods. '' ( 31 : 30. ) The next reference to the ' ' teraphim "* 
in Scripture confirms the idea that they were used for orac- 
ular consultation. In Judges xvii : 5 we read : ' ' And the 
man Micah had a house of gods, and made an ephod, and 
teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons who became his 
priest''; next we are told ''In those days there was no king 
in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own 
eyes" and ''Micali consecrated the Levite; and the young 
man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah." 
(Verse 6, 12.) Then, in the chapter that follows, we read 
of the tribe of Dan seeking an inheritance to dwell in, and 
sending out spies to search out the land ; and they came to 
''the house of Micah (who had the teraphim) and said to 
his priest, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of Ood, that we may 
know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous." 
(Judges 18: 6.) That it was of the "teraphim" they 
wished him to enquire, and not of the Lord, is clear from 
what follows, for when the spies returned to their tribe and 
made their report (which was adopted), the tribe on going 
forth to secure their inheritance carefully saw to it that 
Micah 's "priest" with his "graven image, and the ephod, 
and the teraphim" accompanied them, so that we are told 
he became their "priest." (See 18: 8-20.) Next we read 
in 1 Sam. 19: 13: "And Michal took a teraphim and laid 
it in the bed, and put a pillow of goat's hair for his bolster, 
and covered it with a cloth." This scripture not only re- 
veals the sad fact that Saul's daughter was an idolator and 
practiced necromancy, but also intimates that by this time 
the "teraphim" were fashioned after the human form — 
hence Michal 's selection of one of these to appear like the 
figure of her sleeping husband.* Ezek. 21 : 21 also makes it 
clear that the "teraphim" were used for oracular consulta- 
tion — "The king of Babylon . . . consulted with tera- 
phim." Later scriptures indicate that after Israel had 
apostatized from Jehovah they turned to the "teraphim" 
more and more — "For the teraphim have spoken vanity, 
and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams ; 
they comfort in vain." (Zech. 10 : 2.) Hence it was in pro- 
nouncing sentence on recreant Israel, God said: "For the 
children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and 
without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without a 

*Thls one must have been much larger than those which Rachael concealed 
under her saddle. 

276 Gleanings in Genesis 

teraphim/' What a terrible analogy to all this we behold 
in our own day I Just as in olden time Israel turned from 
Jehovah to the 'Heraphim" of the heathen, so today, now 
that Christendom has apostatized, men on all sides are 
turning away from the Holy Scriptures which are the 
Oracles of Qod, and are giving heed to seducing spirits and 
the deceptions of Satan. 

That Laban harbored in his home these '^teraphim'' 
shows that the idolatry of Babylonia still clung to his 
family, notwithstanding he had some knowledge of the true 
Ood. (See 31: 53.) Laban appears to have been a man 
much after the order of those of whom it is written : ' ^ They 
sware by the Lord and by Malchom" (a heathen god). 
(Zeph. 1:5.) This strange contradiction in Laban 's reli- 
gious life appears to throw light upon a passage and person 
that has long puzzled Bible students. We refer to Balaam. 
This mysterious prophet seems to have been a heathen sooth- 
sayer, and yet it is evident he also had some dealings with 
Jehovah. If Balaam was a descendant of Laban this would 
account for this religious anomoly. Now in Num. 23: 7 
we learn that Balaam came from ' * Aram, ' ' which may pos- 
sibly be identical with Padan-Aram where Laban dwelt. 
Balaam prophesied only some 280 years after Jacob's de- 
parture from Laban 's home, and may then have been an 
old man, at any rate in those days 280 years covered only 
about two generations. The Targum of Jonathan on Num. 
27:5, and the Targum on 1 Chron. 1:44 make Balaam 
to be Laban himself ; and others say he was the son of Beor, 
the son of Laban. Bearing in mind that Laban employed 
the ''teraphim" as his ''gods,'' if Balaam were one of his 
descendants then it would explain why he did not utterly 
disown Jehovah while yet practicing the abominations of 
the heathen. 

To return to the narrative. It was not long after Jacob's 
stealthy departure that Laban heard of what had taken 
place, and gathering together what was, no doubt, a con- 
siderable force, he immediately set out in pursuit. But on 
the night before he overtook Jacob's party, Qod appeared 
to him in a dream, and warned him against even speaking 
to Jacob ''good or bad." Thus did Jehovah, once again, 
make good His original promise to our patriarch and mani- 
fest His preserving Presence with Jacob. The measure in 
which Laban respected the word of God is seen in the 

Jacob's Departure from Haran 277 

charges he brought against Jacob when they met the next 
day. We refrain from commenting on the lengthy colloquy 
between Jacob and his unde. Though considerable feeling 
was evidenced by both parties, the interview terminated 
happily, and the final leave-taking was quite affecting. But 
it is remarkable that at the close of their interview each 
man revealed himself and his true condition of heart. It is 
by the seemingly little things that our characters are shown 
— ' ' By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words 
thou shalt be condemned. '' (Matt. 12 : 37.) So it was here. 
When Jacob took a stone and '^set it up for a pillar'' to be a 
witness of the covenant made between them (21: 44-46) 
Lahan called it ' ' Jegar-sahadutha " which is Chaldean for 
''heap of witness/' thus speaking in the language of 
heathendom; whereas, Jacob termed it ''Oaleed" which was 
Hebrew for "heap of witness." Only the true believer can 
speak the language of God's people; of the worldling, the 
godless idolator, it must be said of him as the maid said of 
Peter when he was denying his Lord, ''Thy speech be* 
trayeththee." (Matt. 26: 73.) 

The dosing verses of our chapter present briefly another 
beautiful typical picture: "Then Jacob offered sacrifice 
upon the mount, and called his brethem to eat bread ; and 
they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount. 
And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons 
and his daughters, and blessed them ; and Laban departed 
and returned unto his place." First a covenant of peace 
was proposed, then it was ratified by a sacrifice, and last it 
was commemorated by a feast. So it was in Egypt. God 
made promise to Moses, then the lamb was slain, and then 
the people feasted upon his roasted fiesh. Thus it is with 
us. God entered into a covenant of peace before the founda- 
tion of the world, in the fullness of time the great Sacrifice 
was offered and accepted, and this is now commemorated at 
the "feast" of the Lord's Supper. (I Cor. v: 8.) Note, too, 
it was not Laban the elder, but Jacob his nephew who 
"offered sacrifice upon the mount." 

One practical observation on the circumstance of Jacob 
leaving Padan-Aram and we conclude. It has been sug- 
gested by Dr. Griffith-Thomas that this incident supplies 
us with valuable principles for regulating the believer in 
his daily life when in doubt concerning the will of (}od. 
How often one is puzzled to know whether God would have 

278 Gleanings in Genesis 

OS take a certain course or not. How may I be sure of 
Gk>d's will con&eming some issue which confronts met An 
important question ; one that is frequently met with, and 
one which must find answer in the Word alone. Surely God 
has not left us without something definite for our guidance. 
Not that we must always look for a passage of Scripture 
whose terms are absolutely identical with our own situation, 
but rather must we search for some passage which sets forth 
some clearly defined principles which are suited to meet oar 
case. Such indeed we find here in Oten. 31. 

Jacob was in a strange land. He had been there for 
twenty years, yet he knew he was not to spend the remainder 
of his dajrs there. Gk>d had assured him he should return 
to Canaan. How much longer then was he to tany at 
Padan-Aramt When was he to start out for his old home? 
How could he be sure when Ood^s time for him to move had 
arrived t Pressing questions these. Note how the answer 
to them is found here in three things : first, a definite desire 
sprang up in Jacob's heart to return home — ^this is evi- 
dent from Gen. 30: 25. But this in itself was not suffi- 
cient to warrant a move, so Jacob must wait a while longer. 
Second, circumstances became such that a move seemed the 
wise thing ; the jealousy of Laban and his sons made his con- 
tinued stay there intolerable. (Gen. 81: 1, 2.) This was 
ordered of God who makes all things ''work together'* for 
the good of His own people. But still something more was 
needed ere Jacob was justified in leaving. So, in the third 
place there was a clear word from Ood — ^"'The Lord said 
unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers.** (Gen. 
31: 3.) 

It is not always that God gives us a manifestation of these 
three principles, but whenever they do combine and are evi- 
dent we may be sure of His will in any given circumstance. 
First, a definite conviction in our hearts that Qod desires 
us to take a certain course or do a certain thing. Second, 
the path He would have us take being indicated by outward 
circumstances, which make it (humanly) possible or expe- 
dient we should do it. Then, third, after definitely waiting 
on Gk)d for it, some special word from the Scriptures which 
is suited to our case and which by the Spirit bringing it 
manifestly to our notice (while waiting for guidance) is 
plainly a message from God to our individual heart. Thus 
may we be assured of Gk)d*8 will for us. The most important 

Jacob's Departure from Haran 279 

thing is to wait on Ood. Tell Him your perplexity, ask 
Him to prevent you from making any mistake, cry earnestly 
to Him to make ** plain His way before your face" (Psa. 5: 
8), and then **wait patiently*' till He does so. Remember 
that '^whatsoever is not of faith is sin/' (Rom. 4: 23.) 
If you are sincere and patient, and pray in faith, then, in 
His own good time and way. He will most certainly answer, 
either by removing the conviction or desire from your heart, 
and arranging your circumstances in such a manner that 
your way is blocked — and then you will know His time for 
you to move has not arrived — or, by deepening your convic- 
tion, so ordering your circumstances as that the way is 
opened up tvithout your doing anything yourself, and by 
speaking definitely through His written Word. ** Commit 
thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall 
bring it to pass. (Psa. 37: 5.) The meek will He 
guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way.*' 
(Psa. 25: 9.) "He that believeth shall not make haste." 
May writer and reader be permitted by Divine grace to 
enjoy that blessed peace that comes from knowing we are 
in the will — ^that "good and perfect and acceptable will"— ^ 
of Ood. 


Genesis 32 

In our last article we contemplated Jacob, in obedience 
to the word of the Lord who bade him ^ ^ return unto the land 
of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I vnll be with thee" 
(Gen. 31: 3), as then leaving Padan-Aram and starting 
out for Canaan. We also paid some attention to Laban's 
pursuit of our patriarch, and of the affectionate leave-tak- 
ing which eventually ensued. Here we are to consider 
another important incident which befell Jacob by the way. 

^ ' And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of Ood met 
him." (Gen. 32:1.) Jacob was now in the path of 
obedience and therefore God favored him with another 
revelation to strengthen his faith and inspire him with 
courage for what lay before him — ^the meeting with Esau 
and his four hundred men. While in the path of obedience 
we must expect to encounter that which will test our faith, 
and not the least of such trials will be that to all outward 
appearances God Himself is against us ; yet as we start out 
along any path He has appointed, God in His grace, usually 
encourages us with a plain revelation from Himself, a token 
of His approval, a strengthener to faith; and at the end 
we find the path of the just is as the shining light that 
shineth more and more unto the perfect da}\ So it proved 
with Jacob. 

^ ' And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met 
him. * ' The word ' * met * * here suggests a beautiful thought. 
It is not that the angels ** appeared" to him, but they **met** 
him. Jacob is returning from his long exile, returning to 
the land given to his fathers (and later to himself) by 
Jehovah. These angels then came forward to greet him, 
as it were. God sent these messengers of His in advance 
to welcome his servant home, and to express to him His good- 
will. On his journey out from Canaan to Padan-Aram the 
Lord Himself met Jacob and gave him a vision of the angels ; 
and here, now that he is on his way back from Padan-Aram 
to Canaan, the angels met him, followed immediately after- 
wards by the Lord appearing to him. 

**And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met 
him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's 
host; and he called the name of that place Mahanainu" 


Jacob at Mahanaim 281 

(Gen. 32:1, 2.) Once again we note how timely are 
€k>d's interventions. Jacob had just escaped from one 
company of his enemies (Laban and his brethren — Qen. 
31: 22, 23 ), and another was now advancing to meet him, 
namely, Esau with his four hundred men. But at this 
juncture Gk)d's host made its appearance, as though to 
show him to whom he owed his recent escape, and as if to 
further assure him that He who had delivered, did deliver, 
and he might safely trust would deliver him. It is to be 
remarked that the angels (32: 1) which appeared on 
this occasion were termed by Jacob '* God's host" in the 
singular number, but from the name which Jacob gave to 
the place — ^Mahanaim — ^it is evident they were divided into 
two companies, for Mahanaim signifies two hosts. It would 
seem, then, there was one host of these '^angels'' of God, 
but divided into two companies, probably encompassing 
him both before and behind. Was not this God's provision 
for the two hosts of Jacob 's adversaries, which at the same 
time, and no doubt with the same violent designs, were 
coming against him ! The one had already been sent back 
without striking a blow (Laban and his company), and the 
other should yet also be. While this was not expressly 
revealed to Jacob, nevertheless, this host of angels before 
him, as well as the one behind, was most evidently a com- 
forting assurance from Grod that He was with His child and 
would preserve him whithersoever he went. How it reminds 
us of the experience of the Children of Israel in the wilder- 
ness, centuries later, when the Pillar of Cloud went before 
them by day, and the Pillar of Fire protected their rear by 

''And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau, his 
brother, unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And 
he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my 
lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojumed 
with Laban, and stayed there until now; and I have oxen, 
and asses, flocks, and men-servants, and women-servants; 
and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy 
sight." (Gen. 32: 3-5.) As yet Jacob had heard noth- 
ing of his brother Esau, save that he was now settled in the 
land of Seir ; but recalling the past, remembering the angry 
threat of the man, he was plainly apprehensive of the con- 
sequences of meeting him again. He, therefore, decided 
to send messengers before him, much as an army which is 

282 Gleanings in Genesis 

marching through an enemy's country sends on spies in 
advance. These messengers were evidently instructed to 
sound Esau (for they returned to Jacob with their report), 
and if needs be to appease his anger. These messengers 
were carefully instructed what they should say to Esau, 
how they should conduct themselves in his presence, and 
the impression they must aim to make upon him — all de- 
signed to conciliate. While they were coached to say noth- 
ing but what was strictly true, nevertheless, the craftiness 
of Jacob comes out plainly in the words he puts into the 
mouths of his messengers : 

''And he commanded them, saying. Thus shall ye speak 
unto my lord Esau ; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have 
sojourned with Laban, and staved there until now ; and I 
have oxen, and asses, flocks, and men servants, and women 
servants ; and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find 
grace in thy sight." (Gen. 32: 4, 5.) Jacob does not 
insist on the fulfillment of the blessing which he had ob- 
tained from his father. Isaac had said, ' * Be lord over thy 
brother, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee.'' But 
here Jacob refuses to press the claim of his precedency, 
and instead of requiring that Esau should ' ' bow down ' ' un- 
to him, he refers to Esau as ^^hi$ lord*' and takes the place 
of a servant*'! Note, too, nothing is said of the reason 
why he had fled to Padan-Aram — all reference to his out- 
witting of Esau is carefully passed over — instead, he naively 
says, '*I have sojourned (not found refuge) with Laban, 
and stayed there until now," Once again be it remarked, 
Jacob would have Esau plainly to understand that he had 
not come to claim the double portion, nor even to seek a 
division of their father's inheritance — ^he had no need for 
this, for Qod had given him plenty of this world's goods. 
How plainly the native shrewdness of our patriarch comes 
out in all this needs not be argued. 

*'And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying. We 
came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, 
and four hundred men with him." (Gen. 32: 6.) It 
would seem from the sequel that the messengers sent out by 
Jacob never delivered their message, but only went far 
enough to discover that Esau was advancing toward them 
accompanied by four hundred men — ^to them, no doubt, with 
hostile intentions. It must have come upon Jacob as a 
terrible shock to learn that his brother was already ac- 

Jacob at Mahanaim 28S 

quainted with his movements. It could only be about a 
fortnight at most since Jacob had left his uncle 's farm, and 
as his journey had been conducted with all possible secrecy 
(in order to escape from Laban), how could Esau have 
learned of it at allf Was his thirst for revenge upon his 
brother so great that he had had him watched all these 
years t Was there some spy of his in the employ of Laban, 
who had now secretly communicated with Esau t Someone 
must have informed him, and the fact that Esau was now 
advancing upon him was disquieting news indeed. * * Then 
Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed'' (32: 7) — a 
guilty conscience needs no accusing. 

''And he divided the people that was with him, and the 
flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands ; and said. 
If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the 
other company which is left shall escape.''' (32: 7, 8.) 
There seemed no time to be lost, so Jacob acted promptly, 
and with accustomed shrewdness. First he divided his 
people and his flocks into two bands, so that if Esau came 
up with one and smote it, the other at least might escape. 
Second he betook himself to prayer. Ere condemning 
Jacob here, let us examine our own hearts and remember our 
own ways. How often we come to God only as a last 
resorti How often we scheme and plan, and not until 
afterwards do we cry unto God. Alas, how often we act on 
the principles of that God-dishonoring proverb that '*God 
helps those who help themselves" — as though anybody was 
sufficient to "help himself" without Gk)d first helping him! 
The truth is rather, and how blessed, that God is ever ready 
to help those who have learned by sad experience that they 
are quite unable to * * help themselves. ' ' His promise is ' ' He 
giveth power to the faint ; and to them that have no might 
He increaseth strength. " (Isa. 40 : 29.) 

There is not a little in the prayer of Jacob which is 
worthy of close attention, the more so as it was a prevailing 
prayer, and that it is the first recorded real prayer in the 
Bible. **And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, 
and Grod of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me. 
Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will 
deal well with thee ; I am not worthy of the least of all the 
mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast showed unto 
thy servant ; for with my staflf I passed over this Jordan ; 
and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee. 

284 Gleanings in Genesis 

from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau ; for I 
fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother 
with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee 
good, and make thy^ seed as the sand of the sea, which can* 
not be numbered for multitude/' (32: 9-12.) Notice 
first the Ood to whom he prayed. He approached God not 
merely as God the Creator, but as ''the God of his father 
Abraham and the Qod of his father Isaac. ' ' It was God in 
Covenant relationship. This was laying hold of the Divine 
faithfulness ; it was the prayer of faith. It means much to 
approach God thus; to appeal to Him on the ground of a 
sure and established relationship. We come before God not 
as the God of our forefathers, but as the God and Father of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore our * ' God and Father. * ' 
It is as we plead this relationship He is pleased to bless us. 
Second, Jacob cast himself on the sure Word of Jehovah, 
pleading before Him His promise. He humbly reminded 
the Lord how He had said, * ' Return unto thy country, and 
to thy kindred, and / will deal well with thee. " Here again 
we do well to learn from Jacob. The Scriptures contain 
many promises given to believers in general, and it is our 
individual privilege to plead them before God in particular, 
the more so when, like our patriarch, we encounter difficul- 
ties and opposition in the way wherein He has directed us 
to walk. Jacob pleaded a definite promise ; so must we. In 
2 Cor. 12: 9 we read, ''My grace is sufficient for thee.** 
Come to the Throne of Grace at the beginning of each day, 
reverently and believingly romind the Lord of this declara* 
tion of His, and then say with one of old, "Do as Thou hast 
said.'* (2 Sam. 7: 25.) Again, we read in Phil. 4: 19, 
"My God shall supply all your need.'* Tell the Lord of 
this in the hour of emergency, and say. Lord "Do as Thou 
hast said.'* 

Third, Jacob fully acknowledged his own utter lack of 
desert. He confessed that the Lord was in no wise his 
debtor. He took a lowly place before the Most High. He 
owned that *^he was not worthy of the least of all God's 
mercies." Mark this well, dear reader, for very little teach- 
ing is heard in these days that leads to self-abasement. It 
has become a rarity to hear a saint of God confessing his 
tinworthiness. There is so much said about living on a 
high plane of spirituality, so much Laodicean boasting, that 
many are afraid to acknowledge before other believers that 

Jacob at Mahanaim 285 

ihey are ''not worthy of the least of Gkxi's mercies/' One 
sometimes wonders if this is the chief reason why so few of 
us have any real power in prayer today. Certain it is that 
we must get down into the dust before Gk)d if we would 
receive His blessing. We must come before Him as empty- 
handed supplicants, if He is to fill us. We must own our ill 
deserts, and be ready to receive from Him on the ground 
of grace done if we are to have our prayers answered. 

Finally, notice the motive which actuated Jacob in pre- 
senting the petition he did. That for which he made re- 
quest was expressed as follows : ' ' Deliver me, I pray thee, 
from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau ; for I 
fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother 
with the children." At first glance it would appear that 
our patriarch was moved by nothing higher than the natural 
affections of the human heart. It would seem that this was 
the petition of a kind husband and a tender father. But as 
we re-read tliis request of Jacob in the light of the closing 
words of his prayer, we shall discover he was prompted by a 
far worthier and higher motive. He at once added ''And 
thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed 
as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for mul- 
titude." In this conclusion to the prayer we may see not 
only a further pleading of God's promise, but an eye to 
Qod^s glory. Jehovah had promised to make Jacob's seed 
as the sand of the sea, but if his wife and children were 
slain how then could God's promise be fulfilled ! Now it is 
natural, and by no means wrong, for us to be deeply con- 
cerned over the salvation of our loved ones; but our chief 
concern must center itself not in the well-being of those who 
are united to us by the ties of blood or intimate friendship, 
but for the glory of Ood. ^^ Whatsoever ye do (in prayer, 
as in everything else) do alJ to the glory of God" — ^to this 
everything else must be subordinated. Here, then, is a 
searching test: Why as I so anxious to see certain ones 
saved t — simply because they are near and dear to me t or 
that God may be glorified and Christ magnified in their 
salvation? May Divine grace purge us of selfishness and 
purify our motives in prayer. And may God use these few 
words and cause both writer and reader to cry, with ever 
increasing fervor, **Lord, teach us to pray." 


Genesis 32 

In our last article we contemplated Jacob as he continued 
on his way home from Padan-Aram where he had lived as an 
exile for so long. As Jacob went on his way ' ' the angels of 
God met him/' apparently in two distinct companies or 
''hosts," probably one of them to his rear and the other 
before him. It was suggested that there was a symbolic 
meaning to this ordering of the angels ; that as Gkxl had just 
delivered our patriarch from Laban and his company, who 
were now left behind, so would he deliver him from Esau 
and his company which were ahead of him. After the an- 
gels had disappeared, Jacob sent out messengers to meet 
Esau, to pacify him with friendly overtures, and thus pre- 
pare for their meeting. Shortly afterwards these messen- 
gers returned to Jacob bringing with them the discomfort- 
ing news that Esau was advancing, accompanied by no less 
than four hundred men. Jacob was '^ greatly afraid and 
distressed,'' and after dividing his party and possessions 
into two bands, he at once betook himself to earnest prayer. 
We considered this prayer at some length, and sought to 
point out some of its striking and suggestive features. It 
was a prayer of faith, and one which, in its general prin- 
ciples, we do well to copy. 

What followed Jacob 's prayer is now to engage our atten- 
tion. A striking contrast is immediately presented to our 
notice, a contrast which seems unthinkable but for the sad 
fact that it is so often repeated in our own experiences. 
Jacob at once turns from the exercise of faith to the mani- 
festation of unbelief, from prayer to scheming, from Gk>d to 
his own fleshly devises. ''And he lodged there that same 
night ; and took of that which came to his hand a present for 
Esau his brother. " (32 : 13. ) 

There was nothing inherently wrong in thus sending a 
present to his advancing brother; it was the motive which 
actuated him which is censurable, and which is "written 
for our admonition.' ' (1 Corinthians 10: 11.) In the verses 
which follow the Holy Spirit lays bare for us the heart of 
Jacob, that we may the better become acquainted with our 
own deceitful and wicked hearts. Had Jacob 's motive been 
a righteous and praiseworthy one there was no need for him 


Jacob at Peniel 287 

to have b(>en at so much care and trouble in arranging his 
present for Esau. First he divided his extravagant present 
into three parts, or droves (for it consisted of cattle), put- 
ting a space between each and thus spreading them out to 
the best advantage, with the obvious intention of making as 
great an impression as possible upon his brother. Next, he 
commanded the servants who were entrusted with the care 
of his present, that when they should meet Esau and he 
enquired who these flocks and herds belonged to, they should 
say, ^' these be thy servant's Jacob's; it is a present sent 
unto my lord Esau/' Clearly, the message which Jacob 
sent to Esau was utterly beneath the dignity of a child of 
God; such fawning phrases as **my lord Esau'' and ''thy 
servant Jacob" tell their own sad tale. This obsequious 
servility before a man of the world evidenced the state of 
his heart. Clearly, Jacob was afraid of Esau, and was no 
longer exercising confidence in Gk)d. Finally, Jacob's real 
design is made still more evident when we note his own 
soliloquizing — ^''For he said I will appease him with the 
present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his 
face ; preadventure he will accept of me." (32. 20.) 

Instead of trusting in the Lord to work in him a spirit of 
conciliation, he undertook himself to propitiate Esau — ^''I" 
will appease him. But mark carefully, dear reader, that 
after all his scheming and devising he could say only '^per- 
adventure he will accept of me ! " So it is still ; after all our 
fleshly efforts have been put forth there is no confidence 
begotten thereby, nothing but an uncertain '*peradventure" 
for our pains. How different from the way of faith, and the 
calm but certain assurance which is the blessed fruit of 
resting on the Divine promise and trusting Qod to under- 
take for ust 

Ere proceeding further we would pause to consider a per- 
tinent and pressing question which naturally arises out of 
what we have seen above : How was it possible for Jacob to 
turn to fleshly scheming and efforts of his own to appease 
Esau when just before he had prayer with such earnestness t 
to Ood, and had not failed to plead the Divine promises? 
Was Jacob after all an t^n-believerf Surely not — God's 
dealings with him previously dispel the idea. Had he then 
** fallen from grace" and become an unbeliever? And again 
we must reject any such suggestion, for the Scriptures are 
plain and explicit on the point that one who has been bom 

288 Gleanings in Genesis 

again cannot be unborn — an unfaithful and unworthy child 
of Grod I may be, but I am still ^i^ child, nevertlieless. 
The gifts and calling of Gk)d are *' without repentance'* — 
'^without change of mind." (Romans 11: 29.) Once a sin- 
ner has been called out of darkness into Ood's marvelous 
light, and once God has given to him light and salvation, he 
never undoes that calling or withdraws His gift, for the sin- 
ner did nothing whatever of himself to merit Ood's gift, 
and he can do nothing to demerit it. The basis on which 
God bestows His gifts is not that of works and human desert, 
but that of sovereign grace alone. This does not argue that 
we shall therefore be careless and free to sin as much as we 
want, for that would only go to prove that we had never 
received God's ^^ gift" of salvation; rather shall we become 
more careful and have a greater hatred of sin, not because 
we are afraid of the consequences of wrong doing, but be- 
cause we are desirious of showing our deep gratitude to 
God, by a life which is pleasing to Him, in return for His 
abounding mercy and goodness to us. 

But this still leaves unanswered our question concerning 
Jacob. Jacob was a believer in God — a careful study of his 
prayer as recorded in Genesis 32:9-12 evidences that. 
But though Jacob was a believer there still remained the 
** flesh," the old evil nature in him. And to this he gave 
way. The flesh is ever unbelieving, and where it is not 
constantly judged breaks forth in God-dishonoring activi- 
ties. The clearest exemplification and demonstration of the 
two natures in the believer is to be seen in the history of 
Jacob recorded faithfully by the Holy Spirit not for our 
emulation but for our '^warning." The same two natures 
are in every child of Qod today, the spiritual and the carnal, 
the one which believes God and the other which disbelieves* 
It is because of this we need to cry daily, ^ ' Lord, I believe ; 
help Thou mine unbelief. ' ' (Mark 9 : 24. ) 

* ^ So went the present over before him ; and himself lodged 
that night in the company. And he rose up that night, and 
took his two wives, and his two women-servants, and his 
eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took 
them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he 
had. And Jacob was left alone ; and there wrestled a man 
with him until the breaking of the day.'* (32: 21-24.) 
This passage introduces us to a most important crisis in the 
life of Jacob. The book of Gtenesis presents our patriarch 

Jacob at Peniel 289 

in two characters, as he is exhibited to ns as Jacob and as 
Israel; the one looking at the natural man, and the other 
at the spiritual man, the one telling of how Divine grace 
found him and the other of what Divine grace made him — 
this will become clearer as we continue these studies, if the 
Lord will. We are now to consider the memorable occasion 
when Jacob formally received his new name of Israel, when 
he who was rightly termed ' ' the supplanter* ' became known 
as ''God commands." 

The circumstances under which Jacob formally received 
his new name are worthy of the closest attention. He was, 
as we have seen, in great distress. News had come to hand 
that Esau, accompanied by four hundred men, was on the 
way to meet him. That for which he had labored so hard 
and so long to obtain in Padan-Aram seemed about to be 
wrested from his hands; his wives and his children ap- 
peared to be in imminent danger, and his own life in peril. 
As a precautionary measure he had sent his family over the 
brook Jabbok,* and now he was left alone — ^more desolate 
than when twenty years before he had left his father's 
house. Night had fallen, when suddenly a mysterious 
stranger appeared, and in the darkness grappled with him. 
All through the night this strange conflict continued. 

''And Jacob was left alone." In this sentence we have 
the first key to the incident we are now considering. On 
these words it has been well said, " To be left alone with Gk)d 
is the only true way of arriving at a just knowledge of our- 
selves and our ways. We can never get a true estimate of 
nature and all its actings until we have weighed them in the 
balances of the sanctuary, and there we may ascertain their 
real worth. No matter what we may think about ourselves, 
nor yet what man may think about us, the great question is, 
What does God think about usf And the answer to this 
question can only be learned when we are 'left alone.' 
Away from the world, away from self, away from all the 
thoughts, reasonings, imaginings, and emotions of mere 
nature, and ' alone with God, ' — ^thus, and thus alone, can we 
get a correct judgment about ourselves." (C. H. M.) 

"And there wrestled a man with him." In Hosea 12: 4 
this "man" is termed "the angel"; that is, we take it ; *^the 
Angel of the Covenant, " or, in other words, the Lord Jesus 

^ ^Jabbok slcnlflefl "emptying" — appropriate name, for it empbaaUes tho 
Ciot tbat Jacob was *«loft alono." 

290 Gleanings in Genesis 

Himself in theophanic manifestation. It was the same One 
who appeared unto Abraham just before the destruction of 
Sodom. In Genesis xviii : 2 we read of ' * three men, ' ' but 
later in the chapter one of them is spoken of as ''the Lord." 
(5:13.) So here in Genesis 32, at the close of the conflict 
between this "Man" and our patriarch, Jacob called the 
name of the place Penlel, saying, ''For I have seen Ood face 
to face." (32:30.) 

"And there wrestled a Man with Aim." Note we are not 
told that Jacob wrestled with the mysterious Visitor, but 
"there wrestled a Man with him/' that is, with Jacob. 
This incident has often been referred to as an illustration 
and example of a saint's power in prayer, but such a thought 
is wide of the mark. Jacob was not wrestling with this 
Man to obtain a blessing, instead, the Man was wrestling 
with Jacob to gain some object from him. As to what this 
object is the best of the commentators are agreed — ^it was to 
reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness, to cause him to 
see what a poor, helpless and worthless creature he was ; it 
was to teach us through him the all important lesson that in 
recognized weakness lies our strength. 

"And there wrestled a Man with him till the breaking of 
the day.*' From dark till dawn the mysterious conflict 
continued. There are those who have taken exception to 
the view set forth above, and who argue that if it was God 
who was wrestling with Jacob for the purpose of bringing 
him to a sense of his impotency He would have taken a 
shorter cut and arrived at the designed end much quicker. 
But such an objection loses sight of the wondrous patience 
which Qod ever exercises toward His own. He is *^long 
suffering to usward." Long does He bear with our fleshly 
struggling, but in the end He accomplishes His purpose and 
grace triumphs. The delay only serves to provide oppor- 
tunity for Him to display His infinite forbearance. 

' ' And when He saw that He prevailed not against him, He 
touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's 
thigh was out of joint as He wrestled with him." This 
shows us how quickly and how easily God could, when it so 
pleased Him, bring to an end Jacob 's resistance and reduce 
him to helplessness; aU He had to do was but to ^^ touch the 
hollow of his thigh," and in a moment Jacob's power to 
continue wrestling was gone ! And here we get the second 
key to the incident. Jacob was now brought to the end of 

Jacob at Peniel 291 

own resources. One swift stroke from the Divine hand 
and he was rendered utterly powerless. And this is the 
purpose God has before Him in His dealings with us. One 
of the principal designs of our gracious heavenly Father in 
the ordering of our path, in the appointing of our testings 
and trials, in the discipline of His love, is to bring us to the 
end of ourselves, to show us our own powerlessness, to teach 
us to have no confidence in the flesh, that His strength may 
be perfected in our conscious and realized weakness. 

* * And He said. Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he 
said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.'' (32: 
26.) Here is the third key which unlocks to us the precious 
contents of our narrative. Here we see the object of the 
Heavenly Wrestler accomplished. No longer could Jacob 
wrestle ; all he could do was cling. The mysterious Stranger 
brought Jacob to the point where he had to lean his entire 
weight on Him! Hitherto Jacob had sought to order his 
own life, planning, scheming and devising ; but now he was 
* * left alone ' ' he is shown what a perfectly helpless creature 
he was in himself. * * The seat of his strength being touched, 
he learnt to say, ' I will not let Thee go ' — * other refuge have 
I none ; clings my helpless soul to Thee. ' This was a new 
era in the history of the supplanting, planning, Jacob. Up 
to this point he had held fast by his own ways and means, 
but now he is brought to say * I will not let thee go. ' ' ' But 
mark carefully, it was not until ''the hollow of his thigh was 
touched" that Jacob said this; and, it is not until we fully 
realize our own helplessness and nothingness that we are 
brought to cling to God and really seek His blessing, for 
note, not only did Jacob say '*I will not let Thee go,*' but 
he added ' * except Thou bless me. * ' 

''And He said unto him, What is thy namef Aiid he 
said, Jacob. And He said. Thy name shall be called no more 
Jacob, but Israel ; for as a prince hast thou power with Gk>d 
and with men, and hast prevailed.'* (32:27, 28.) We 
cannot but feel that these verses have been generally mis- 
understood by most of the commentators. Why shordd the 
Divine Wrestler ask our patriarch his name, if not to em- 
phasize and press upon the conscience of Jacob the force of 
it, namely, supplanter or contender. And in the new name 
here given him, it seems to us Jacob received a rebuke, 
though its meaning also weU sums up the central teaching 
of this incident which describes the occasion when he re- 

292 Gleanings in Genesis 

eeived it. But what is the significance of ^ * Israel, ^ his new 
namcf The marginal reading of the B. V. gives ''Gkxl 
striveth ' ' which we believe conveys the real thought, though^ 
''God commandeth^' would probably be a happier alterna- 
tive. One who was a profound Hebrew scholar tells us that 
''names compounded with 'El' have that of the nominative 
when the other part of the name is a verb as here. Out of 
some forty Hebrew names compounded with 'El' or ' Jah/ 
God is always the Doer of what the verb means. Thus, 
Hiel=God liveth; DanieL=God judgeth; GabrieL=God is 
my strength. " Israel would, therefore, be ' ' Gk>d command- 
eth. ' ' Does not this furnish a most appropriate significance 
to the name of the Nation which were and will be again the 
center of God's governmental dealings on earth — Israel, 
"God commandethi" 

"And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, 
but Israel ; for as a prince hast thou power with Gk)d and 
with men, and hast prevailed." (32: 28.) ''As a prince'* 
— as a deposer, orderer (see the various renderings of the 
Hebrew word: rendered "ruler" thirty-three times) ; used 
not to dignify but to reproach. **Hast thou power** — ^hast 
thou contended (the Hebrew cognate is translated "rebel- 
lion," "revolt," etc.) ; Jacob had contended with Esau in 
the womb and thus got his name ' ' Jacob. ' ' And long had 
Jacob, "the orderer" of hid life contended "with God and 
with men. " ''And hast prevailed ' ' or succeeded. To quote 
from the Companion Bible: "He had contended for the 
birthright and had succeeded. (25:29-34.) He had con- 
tended for the blessing and succeeded. (27.) He had con- 
tended with Laban and succeeded. (31.) He had contended 
with 'men' and succeeded. Now he contended with God 
(the Wrestler) , and fails. Hence his new name was changed 
to Isra-el, God commands, to teach him the greatly needed 
lesson of dependance upon God." Jacob had arranged 
everything for meeting and appeasing his brother Esau. 
Now, God is going to take him in hand and order all things 
for him. To learn this lesson, and take this low place before 
God, Jacob must be humbled. He must be lamed as to his 
own strength, and made to limp. Jacob 's new name was to 
be henceforth the constant reminder to him that he had 
learned, and was never to forget this lesson ; that it was not 
he who was to order and arrange his affairs, but God ; and 
his new name, Israel, henceforth to be, him, that ' ' God com- 

Jacob at Peniel 298 

mandeth/ ' As Jacob he had ' ' prevailed, ' ' but now as Israel 
Qod would command and prevail. 

In the above incident then — ^together with its setting and 
sequel — we have a most striking and typical picture of the 
** flesh*' in a believer, its vitality and incurability, (Jod's 
marvelous forbearance toward it and dealings with it and 
victory over it. First, in choosing and arranging the present 
for Esau we see the character and activities of the "flesh'* — 
devising and scheming. Second, in Jacob's experience we 
are shown the worthlessness and helplessness of the ' * flesh. * ' 
Third, we learn that our nothingness can be discovered only 
as we get ''alone" with God. Fourth, in the Man coming 
to wrestle with Jacob we see Ood subduing the ** flesh" in 
the believer, and in the prolongation of the wrestle all 
through the night we have more than a hint of the patience 
He exercises and the slowness of His process — for only 
gradually is the ''flesh" subdued. Fifth, in the touching 
of the hollow of Jacob's thigh we are enabled to discern the 
method Ood pursues, namely, the bringing us to a vivid 
realization of our utter helplessness. Sixth, in the clinging 
of Jacob to the Ood-man we discover that it is not imtil He 
has written the sentence of death on our members that we 
shall cast ourselves unreservedly on the Lord. Seventh, in 
the fact that Jacob's name was now changed to Israel we 
learn that it is only after we have discovered our nothingness 
and helplessness that we are unlling and ready for God to 
command and order our lives for us. Eighth, m the words, 
**and He blessed him there/' we learn that when God "com- 
mands" blessing follows. Ninth, behold the lovely sequel 
—"And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him." 
(32:31.) Does not this defline or rather describe (sym- 
bolically) the spiritual nature of the "blessing!" Tenth, 
note how accurate is the picture — * ' The sun rose upon him, 
and he halted upon his thigh. Therefore the children of 
Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the 
hollow of the thigh, unto this day ; because He touched the 
hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.'^ (32 : 31, 
82.) The sinew only "shrank," it was not removed. Nor 
is the "flesh" eradicated from the believer! 

Many are the important lessons taught in the Scripture 
we have been examining, but for lack of space we can but 
barely name some of them: (1) It is natural to the "flesh" 
to plan and scheme and to desire the ordering of our lives. 

294 Gleanings in Genesis 

(2) The mind of the flesh deems itself fully comi>etent to 
order our life. (3) But Qod in His faithfulness and love 
determines to correct this habit in His child. (4) Long does 
He bear with our self-confidence and self-sufSciency, but 
He must and will bring us to the end of ourselves. (5) To 
accomplish this He lays His hand on us, and makes us con- 
scious of our utter helplessness. (6) This He does by * ' with- 
ering' ' us in the seat of our creature strength, and by writ- 
ing the sentence of death on our flesh. (7) As the result we 
learn to cling to Him in our weakness, and seek His * ' bless- 
ing." (8) What a lesson is thisi The ''flesh" cannot be 
subdued, but must be ''withered" in the very sinew of its 
power — ^"because the carnal mind is enmity against Qod; 
for it is not subject to the law of Ood, neither indeed can 
he/' (9) That which hinders us in our growth in grace is 
not so much our spiritual weakness as it is confidence in our 
natural strength! (10) Not until these truths are appre- 
hended shall we cease to be "contenders," and shall we 
gladly take our place as clay in the hands of the Potter, 
happy for Him to "command" and order our lives for us. 
(11) Then will it be with us, as with Jacob — ^"And He 
blessed him there." (12) And so will the sequel, too, prove 
true of us — * ' The sun rose upon him,' ' for ' ' the path of the 
just shineth more and more unto the perfect day/' 


Genesis 33 

' ' And Jacob lifted tip his eyes, and looked, and, behold, 
Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he 
divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto 
the two handmaids. And he put the handmaids and their 
children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and 
Rachel and Joseph hindermost. And he passed over before 
them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until 
he came near to his brother." (33: 1-3.) Here again we 
meet with one of those strange and sudden transitions in this 
living narrative of our patriarch's history. Truth is 
stranger than fiction, it is said, and no doubt this is so, but 
certainly truth is more accurate than fiction. In the Epistle 
of James the one who is a hearer of the Word and not a doer 
is said to be ' ^ like unto a man beholding his natural face in 
a glass" (1 : 24.) There is no other book in the whole range 
and realm of literature which so marvelously uncovers the 
innermost recesses of the human heart, and so faithfully de- 
lineates its workings. In the biographical portions of Scrip- 
ture the Holy Spirit, as everywhere, paints human nature 
in the colors of truth. An uninspired writer would have 
followed Jacob's wondrous experience at Peniel by a walk 
which was henceforth flawless. But not so the Holy Spirit. 
He has recorded just what did happen, and shows us Jacob 
distrusting God and yielding to the fear of man. Thus it 
is all through. Abraham in faith-obedience to the call of 
God went out **not knowing whither he went," but after 
his arrival in Canaan, when a famine arose, he seeks refuge 
in Egypt. Elijah displays unexampled courage on Mt. Car- 
mel, as alone he confronted the four hundred priests of 
Baal ; but the next we hear of him he is fleeing from Jezebel I 
David dares to meet Goliath, but later, he runs away from 
Saul And thus we have recorded the sad inconsistencies 
of the noblest of God's saints. So it was again here with 
Jacob : what a change from clinging to the Divine Wrestler 
to prostrating himself before Esau I 

There is a lesson and warning for each of us here which 
we do well to take to heart. It is one thing to be privileged 
with a special visitation from or manifestation of God to 
na, but it is quite another to live in the power of it. Jacob 's 


296 Gleanings in Genesis 

experience at this point reminds us of the favored disciples 
who were with Christ in '*the holy mount/' They were 
deeply impressed with what they saw «nd heard, and Peter, 
acting as spokesman, said, ''Lord, it is good for us to be 
here. ' ' But observe the sequel. Next day a father brought 
his lunatic son to the disciples, but 'Hhey could not cure 
him,'' (Luke) and when they asked the Lord the cause of 
their failure He said, ''Because of your unbelief.'' Is not 
the juxtaposition of these two scenes — ^the Transfiguration 
witnessed by the disciples, and their failure in the presence 
of need — intended to teach us the lesson that unless faith re- 
mains active we shall cease to live in the power of the Vision 
of Glory. Such is also the4esson we learn from Jacob's 
failure following immediately the visitation from God from 
Peniel. Ah, there was but One who could say " I do always 
those things that please Him." (John 8: 29.) 

Let us mark for our instruction just wherein Jacob failed. 
He failed to use in faith the blessedness of his new name. 
The lessons which the all-night wrestle ought to have taught 
him were the worthlessness and futility of all his own 
efforts; that instead of putting confidence in the flesh, he 
needed to cling to Qod ; and in the new name he received — 
Israel, God commands— he should have learned that Qod is 
the Orderer of our lives and can well be trusted to under- 
take for us at every point. But 0, how slow we are to 
appropriate and live in the blessedness of the meaning of the 
new names which God has given us "Saint!" "Son!" 
' ' Heir 1 ' ' How little we live our daily lives under the com- 
fort, the inspiration, the strength, the elevation, which such 
titles ought to bring to us and produce from us. Instead of 
trusting God to manage Esau for him Jacob at once resorts 
to his old devisings and subtleties. 

Hardly had Jacob passed over the brook Jabbok and re- 
gained his family when, lifting up his eyes, he beheld his 
brother approaching accompanied by four hundred men. 
To flee was impossible; so at once he took whatever pre- 
cautionary measures were possible under the circumstances. 
He had just sufficient time before Esau came up to arrange 
his family, placing his different children with their respec- 
tive mothers, and putting those in the rear that he had the 
most love for. This shows that though outwardly he ap- 
peared to treat Esau with confidence, nevertheless, he was 
secretly afraid of him. He was obliged, however, to put the 

Jacob Meeting Esau 297 

best face he could upon it, and goes out at the head of his 
company to meet his brother — '"And he passed over before 
them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until 
he came near to his brother. ' ' This betokened the fact that 
Jacob was ready to take the place of complete submis^n 
to his elder brother. His action reveals plainly the real 
state of Jacob 's heart, he was anxious to impress upon Esau 
that he intended to make no claim of preeminence but rather 
was willing to be subordinate to him. This will be even 
more apparent when we attend to the words he used on this 

''And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell 
on his neck, and kissed him" (33 : 4.) It seems to us that 
most of the commentators have missed the point of this. 
Instead of discovering here the power, goodness, and faith- 
fulness of Qod, they see only the magnanimity of Esau. 
Personally we have no doubt that had Esau been left to 
himself his reception of his erring brother would have been 
very different from what it was. But he was not left to 
himself. Jacob had prayed earnestly to Gk)d and had 
pleaded His promise. And now. He in whose hands is the 
king's heart and who ''turneth it whithersoever He will" 
(Proverbs 21: 1), inclined the fierce and envious heart of 
Esau to deal kindly with Jacob. Mark it : and he ' ' fell on 
his neck and kissed him!" Is not the hand of Gk>d further 
to be seen in the fact that Jacob's wives and children all 
uniformly ''bowed" too, to Esau — ^"Then the handmaidens 
came near, they and their children, and they bowed them- 
selves. And Leah also with her children came near, and 
bowed themselves ; and after came Joseph near and Rachel, 
and they bowed themsdves." (33 : 6-7.) 

' ' And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which 
I met f And he said. These are to find grace in the sight of 
my lord." (33 : 8.) Esau desired to know the meaning of 
those droves of cattle which had been sent on to him earlier 
as a present. Jacob's answer is quite frank, but it shows 
what it was in which he placed his confidence — ^he was de- 
pending on his present, rather than upon God, to conciliate 
his brother. Note, too, as in verse 5 he had spoken of him- 
self to his brother as "thy servant/' so here, he terms Esau 
"my lord.'^ Such obsequious cringing ill-became a child of 
Qod in the presence of a man of the world. The excessive 
deference shown to the brother he had wronged evidenced 

298 Gleanings in Genesis 

a servile fear : the fawning obloquy was manifestly designed 
to imply that he was fully prepared to acknowledge Esau's 
seniority and superiority. 

**And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that 
thou hast unto thyself/' (33: 9.) Whether we are to ad- 
mire these words of Esau or not is not easy to determine. 
They may have been the language of independency, or they 
may, which is more likely, have expressed the generosity of 
his heart. Esau was no pauper; in any case, no such 
present from Jacob was needed to heal the breach between 
them. Such was the plain implication of Esau's words, and 
in them we are shown the futility and needlessness of 
Jacob 's scheming. Jacob had devoted much thought to the 
problem how he could best propitiate the brother whose 
anger he feared, and had gone to much expense and trouble 
to this end. But it accomplised nothing ! It was all labor 
lost as the sequel shows. Ood had ''appeased" Esau, just 
as before Be had quietened Laban ! How much better then 
had Jacob just been ' ' still ' ' and trusted in the Lord to act 
for him. Let us seek grace to learn this important lesson, 
that not only are all our fleshly plannings and efforts dis< 
honoring to Ood, and that they are quite uncalled for and 
unnecessary, but also that in the end Otod sets them aside 
as they accomplish NOTHING. 

Jacob was not satisfied with the generous words of his 
brother, and proceeded to press his present upon him, urg- 
ing him to receive it as a token of good-will. * * And Jacob 
said. Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy 
sight, then receive my present at my hand ; for therefore I 
have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of Gk>d, 
and thou wast pleased with me." (v. 10.) The receiving 
of a present at the hands of another has always been re- 
garded as a pledge of amity and good-will. None will re- 
ceive a present from the hand of an enemy. The same 
principle underlies God's dealings with us. He will receive 
no offering from His sinful creatures until they are recon- 
ciled to Him by faith in the Atonement of His Son. Let 
the reader make no mistake upon this score. The Lord God 
wiU receive nothing from your hands until you have first 
received from His hands, received the Saviour which His 
love has provided for sinners. Many there are who sup- 
pose they must first bring something to God in order to win 
His favor. But no matter how beautiful their offering may 

Jacob Meeting Esau 299 

be, no matter what self-sacrifice it has entailed^ if Christ is 
still rejected God will not accept it. To oflfer (Jod your 
own works while continuing to despise Christ is but to insult 
Him and to walk in the way of Cain* The teaching of 
Scripture on this point is most emphatic — ' ' The sacrifice of 
the wicked is an abomination to the Lord." (Proverbs 

Jacob continues to press his suit. To have his present 
accepted would be proof to him that his brother no longer 
bore him any ill-will. Hence, he continues to assure him 
how highly his favor was regarded, yea, to have seen his 
face, was, he says, ' ' as though I had seen the face of God. ' ' 
Finally, he adds ^Hake, I pray thee, my blessing that is 
brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with 
mcy and because I have enough." (y. 11.) In the end, he 
prevailed upon Esau to accept his present^— ^ ^ And he urged 
him, and he took it. " 

'^And he said. Let us take our journey, and let us go, 
and I will go before thee. And he said unto him, My lord 
knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and 
herds with young are with me; and if men should over- 
drive them one day, all the flock will die. Let my lord, I 
pray thee, pass over before his servant ; and I will lead on 
softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and 
the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord 
unto Seir." (33:12-14.) If there can be any question 
raised as to Jacob's secret fears when he met his brother, 
what we read of in these verses surely settles the point. 
The old Jacob is here very evident. Now that his brother 
had accepted his present, he was only too anxious for them 
to separate again. Esau suggests they resume the journey 
in each other's company. But this was not what Jacob 
wanted. Old memories might revive in Esau's mind, and 
when that time came Jacob wished to be far away. How- 
ever, he could not afford to offend his brother, so Jacob, 
at once, begins to frame excuses as to why they should 
journey separately. Then Esau suggested that some of his 
own company should stay behind with Jacob — ^''And Esau 
said. Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are 
with me. " This was probably to afford protection for Jacob 
and his herds while passing through a wild and dangerous 
country. But Jacob seems to have suspected some un- 
friendly design lay behind Esau's offer, and so he declined 

300 Gleanings in Genesis 

it — ^''What needeth itf Let me find grace in the sight of 
my lord. ' ' 

The sequel is indeed a sad and humbling one. Not only 
was Jacob distrustful of his brother but he lied unto him. 
Jacob had said ' ' let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before 
his servant . . . until I come unto my lord unto Seir." 
(v. 14.) But after Esau had taken his departure we read, 
''And Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built him a house, 
and made booths for his cattle. " (v. 17.) Instead of making 
for Seir, the appointed meeting-place, he journeyed in an* 
other direction entirely. Even after the unexpected cordial* 
ity which Esau had displayed, Jacob would not believe that 
Qod had permanently subdued his brother's enmity ; there- 
fore did he mistrust Esau, refusing his offer of protection, 
and sought to avoid another meeting by a deliberate un- 
truth. Alas, what is man I How true it is ''that every 
man at his best state is altogether vanity.'' (Psalm 39 : 5.) 

Jacob's unbelief explains why his journey back to the 
Land was delayed, for instead of pressing on home he settled 
down in Succoth. Not only so, but we are told that "Jacob 
came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of 
Canaan, when he came from Padan-Aram; and pitched 
his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, 
where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of 
Hamor, Shechem 's father, for a hundred pieces of money. ' ' 
(33 : 18-19.) And this in the very face of Clod's word "re- 
turn unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred, and I 
will be with thee. " (31 : 3. ) But he had to pay a dear prioe 
for his unbelief and disobedience. Divine retribution did 
not sleep. We have only to read what happened to his 
family while Jacob abode at Shechem to discover how, 
once more, Jacob was called upon to reap that which he had 
sown — Jacob 's sojourn in Succoth was followed by the ruin- 
ing of his only daughter I 

Little light seems to have been given as yet upon the 
closing verse of our chapter — ^"And he erected there an 
altar, and called it Gk)d the Gk)d of Israel." (33:20.) That 
this was an act of faith on the part of Jacob cannot be 
doubted, but as to how high his faith rose the best of the 
expositors are not agreed. When Jacob denominated this 
altar "Gk)d the Qod of Israel" was he losing sight of 
Jehovah's convenant relationship with Abraham and his 
seed, and thinking of Gkxl merely as his God f Or, was he 

Jacob Meeting Esau 301 

appropriating to himself his new name of Israel t Which- 
ever view be the true one it should be carefully noted that 
in the very next word our patriarch received from the Lord 
it concerned the ''altar*' and intimated that Gk>d was not 
pleased with the altar he had erected in Succoth — ^''and 
Ood said unto Jacob, arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there, 
and make there an altar unto God/' (35:1.) But this 
belongs to our next Genesis study. In the meantime may 
Divine grace open our eyes fully to see the wickedness, as 
well as the vanity of placing any confidence in our fleshly 
devisings and bring us to trust the Lord with all our heart 


Genesis 35 

In our last article we closed with Jacob parting from Esau 
and failing to keep his word and rejoin his brother at Seir. 
We pass over the sad record of the intervening chapter, 
asking our readers to turn to it for themselves^ After 
passing through the grievous experiences narrated in Oen- 
esis 34, we might well have supposed that Jacob had been 
in a hurry to leave Shechem — ^yet, whither would he flee ! 
Laban he had no desire to meet again. Esau he wished to 
avoid. And now from the Shechemites also he was anxious 
to get away. But whither should he go f Poor Jacob ! He 
must have been in a grand quandary. Ah, but man's ex- 
tremities are Qod 's opportunities, and so it was shown to be 
here. Once more God appeared to him, and said, ''Arise, 
go up to Bethel, and dwell there : and make there an altar 
unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fledest from 
the face of Esau thy brother. *' (Genesis 35 : 1.) 

In studying the above passage we have arrived at the con- 
clusion that God 's word to Jacob on this occasion was one of 
admonition. The reference to him '' fleeing" from the face 
of Esau, takes us back, of course, to the time when Jacob first 
fled from home fearful of his brother's anger at the decep- 
tion practiced on him in winning from their father the 
coveted blessing. On the flrst night out the Lord had ap* 
peared to our patriarch in a dream in which He promised 
to keep him in all places whither he went^ and to bring him 
again into the land and unto his kindred. When Jacob 
awoke he said, '^ Surely the Lord is in this place" (28 : 16), 
and rising up early in the morning he took the stone on 
which his head had rested during the night and set it up 
for a pillar, pouring oil on the top of it, and calling the name 
of the place Bethel, which means ''House of God." And 
there, we are told, ' ' And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God 
will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and 
will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I 
come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the 
Lord be my God : And this stone, which I have set for a 
pillar, shall be God 's house.' ' ( Genesis 28 : 20-22. ) 

Probably thirty years at least had passed since Jacob had 
had that vision of the ''ladder," and now God reminds 


Jacob at Bethel Again SOS 

of the pledge which our patriarch had failed to redeem. 
God here addressed Himself to Jacob's conscience^ with re- 
spect to his neglect in performing his vow. God had per- 
formed Bis part, but Jacob had failed. Qod had preserved 
him whithersoever he had journeyed, and had brought him 
back safely to the land of Canaan ; but now that Jacob had 
been in the land at least seven years (for in less time than 
this Simeon and Levi could not have reached man 's estate— 
34 : 25) y yet, he had not gone up to Bethel. 

That God 's word to Jacob recorded in Genesis 35 : 1, was 
a reproof is further evidenced by the immediate effect which 
it had upon him. Not only had Jacob failed to go to Bethel,* 
but, what was worse, while Jehovah had been his personal 
Gk>d, his household was defiled by idols. Bebekah's stolen 
'^teraphim" had proven a snare to the family. At the time 
Laban overtook them Jacob seems to have known nothing 
about these gods ; later, however, he was evidently aware of 
their presence, but not until aroused by the Lord appearing 
to him did he exert his parental authority and have them 
put away. It is striking to note that though God Himself 
said nothing, directly, about the ^'teraphim*' yet, the imme- 
diate effect of His words was to stir Jacob's conscience 
among you, and be clean, and change your garments" (35: 
about them — ^^Then Jacob said unto his household and to 
all that were with him. Put away the strange gods that are 
2.) These words show that Jacob was avare of the corrupt 
practices of his family, and had only too long connived at 

There is good reason to believe that the troubles into 
which Jacob fell at Shechem were due immediately to his 
failure in this very particidar, and had he gone directly to 
Bethel his household had been purged the more promptly 
of the ' ' strange gods ' ' that were in it, and his children had 
escaped the taint which these of necessity must impart. 
Furthermore, had he gone sooner to Bethel his children 
would have been kept out of the way of temptation (34: 1), 
and then the impure and bloody conduct of which they were 
guilty had been prevented. Mark, too, how this second 
verse of Genesis 35 illustrates the awful spread of the lep- 
rosy of sin. At first the teraphim were hidden by Rachel, 
and none of the family except her seem to have known of 
them : but now Jacob had to command his ^ ' household' ' and 
^*all that were with him" to ^'put away the strange gods" 

304 Gleanings in Genesis 

which were among them. The moral is evident: spiritual 
neglect and trifling with temptation can issue only in evil 
and disaster. Let us not neglect Otod 's House^ nor delay to 
keep His commandments. 

* ' And let us arise, and go up to Bethel ; and I will make 
there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my 
distress, and was with me in the way that I went" (35: 3). 
Jacob not only commands his household to put away their 
idols, but seeks to impress them with his own sentiments, 
and urges them all to accompany him to Bethel. His re- 
citing to them how that God had ' ' answered him in the day 
of his distress ' ' not only argued the propriety of the step he 
was urging upon them, but would excite a hope that God 
might disperse the cloud which now hung on them on ac- 
count of the late lamentable transactions in Shechem. 

''And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which 
were in their hand, and all their ear-rings which were in 
their ears ; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by 
Shechem" (35:4). It is pleasing to observe the readiness 
with which his family acceded to Jacob's command. They 
not only gave up their **gods" but their ^* ear-rings** also. 
These, too, were frequently converted to the use of idolatrous 
practices, as is evident not only from the example of Aaron 
who made the calf out of the ''golden ear-rings" (Exodus 
32 : 2) , but from Hosea 2 : 13 as well — *' ' And I will visit upon 
her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, 
and she decked herself with her ear-rings and her jewels, 
and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the 
Lord. " That Jacob huried the teraphim and ear-rings, in- 
stead of attempting to convert them to a more honorable 
use, teaches us that the things of Satan must not be em- 
ployed in the service of God, and that we need to forsake 
even the appearance of evil. There can be no doubt that 
in the readiness with which the family acted in response to 
Jacob's command we are to see the hand of the Lord. In 
fact the power of God is evident at every point in this in- 
cident : the immediate effect of God 's word to Jacob to go 
to Bethel (the effect on his conscience, evidenced by the 
prompt purging of his household) ; the unanimous response 
of his family ; and further, what we read of in verse 5 all 
demonstrate this — ^ ' and they journeyed ; and the terror of 
God was upon the cities that were round about them, and 
they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob." 

Jacob at Bethel Again S05 

In the scripture last quoted we find a striking illustration 
of the sovereign control which Qod exercises over and upon 
men, even upon those who are not His people. Evidently 
the Shechemites were so enraged against Jacob and his 
family that had not Qod put forth His i)Ower they had 
promptly avenged the wrong done them. But not a hand 
can be raised against any of the Lord 's people without His 
direct permission, and even when our enemies are incensed 
against us, all God does is to put His 'Herror'' upon them 
and they are impotent. How true it is that 'Hhe king's 
heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water : He 
tumeth it whithersoever He will'* (Proverbs 21: 1). And 
Ood 18 stiU the same: living, ruling, almighty. There is no 
doubt in the writer 's mind that in the authenticated reports 
of 'Hhe Angels at Mons" we see in the terror which caused 
the German cavalry to turn about and flee from the out- 
numbered English a modem example of what we read of in 
Genesis 35 : 5 — * * And the terror of God was upon the cities 
that were round about them, and they did not pursue after 
the sons of Jacob. '' 

' ^ So Jacob came to Lu2, which is in the land of Canaan, 
that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. 
And he built there an altar, and called the place El-Bethel ; 
because there Qod appeared unto him, when he fled from the 
face of his brother" (35 : 6, 7) . It is significant that Bethel 
is here first called by its original name, ^^Luz" which means 
** departure. ' ' From God Jacob had departed for (as pre- 
viously pointed out) Jacob built no ** altar" during all the 
years he sojourned in Padan-Aram, and only now does he 
return to God, to the ** house of God," to the altar of God, 
and in order to do this he must needs retrace his steps and 
return to the place from which he had '^departed." So it 
was with Abraham before him, for after he left Egypt 
(whither he had gone in unbelief) we read, ''And he went 
on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place 
where his tent had been at the heginning, between Bethel and 
Ai ; unto the place of the altar, which he had made there 
at the first'' (Genesis 13 : 3, 4) . And so it has to be with us. 

''But Deborah, Bebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried 
beneath Bethel under an oak, and the name of it was called 
Allon-Bachuth. And God appeared unto Jacob again, when 
he came out of Padan-Aram and blessed him" (35:8, 9). 
In principle these two verses are inseparably connected. 

306 Gleanings in Genesis 

No mention is made of Deborah in the sacred narrative from 
the time Jacob left his father's house until the time when 
he had now returned to Bethel. The departure and the re- 
turn of Jacob are thus linked together for us by the mention 
of Deborah '^Rebekah's nurse." The same thing is seen 
again in the verse which follows. ''And God appeared unto 
Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-Aram. ' ' God had 
appeared to him just before he entered Padan-Aram, and He 
now appeared ''again" when he came out of Padan-Aram. 
All the years spent with Laban were lost, as were also those 
lived in Succoth and Shechem. The twenty years he 
served with his father-in-law were so much ' ' wood, hay and 
stubble." We find another illustration of this same sad 
principle in Hebrew 11:29-30, where we read, first, "6y 
faith Israel passed through the Red Sea, ' ' and the next thing 
we read is, "&y faith the walls of Jericho fell down." The 
forty years wandering In the wilderness in unbelief is passed 
over! Nothing of "faith" was to be found in that period 
of Israel's history. The forty years was so much lost time I 
Ah, my reader, when our records are reviewed at the Judg- 
ment-seat of Christ methinks there will be similar tragic 
blanks in most, possibly all, of our lives. 

The sequel of Jacob's return to Bethel is very beautiful, 
but we cannot here dwell much upon the details. God 
appeared unto Jacob again, reaffirmed that he should be 
called by his new name Israel, revealed Himself as the ' ' Al- 
mighty" or "All-Sufflcient One," bade him to be "fruit- 
ful and multiply," assuring him that "a nation and a com- 
pany of nations should be of him, and kings should come out 
of his loins ; ' ' and, finally, ratifying the gift of the land unto 
his fathers, unto himself, and unto his sons (35: 11, 12). 

That Jacob was now fully restored to communion with 
God is seen from the fact that he now once more "set up a 
pillar" in the place where he had talked with God and 
poured oil theron (35 : 14, and cf . 28 : 18) . 

Next, we are told ' * And they journeyed from Bethel ; and 
there was but a little way to come to Ephrath." How 
significant and how beautiful is the moral order here: 
Ephrath is Bethlehem (verse 19), and Bethlehem signifies 
"House of Bread." Note carefully the words, "There is 
but a little way (i. e. from Bethel) to come to Ephrath." 
Yes* it is but a short distance from the place where the soul 

Jacob at Bethel Again 307 

is restored to communion with Gk)d to the place where nour- 
ishment and satisfaction of heart are to be found I 

''And Rachael died, and was buried in the way to 
Ephrath, which is Bethlehem" (35 : 19). Thus the leading 
link of Jacob's life at Padan-Aram was now severed ! The 
''teraphim" had been '*hid under the oak" (verse 4), 
Deborah (the link with his old unregenerate life) had also 
been ''buried xmder an oak" (verse 8), and now Rachael 
is ' ' buried. ' ' Death is written large across this scene. And 
we too must have "the sentence of death" written on our 
members if we would walk in full communion with God and 
dwell in the house of bread. And is it not lovely to mark 
that from the dying Rachael there came forth Benjamin — 
"the Son of the right hand!" 

Having considered some of the moral lessons which the 
dSth chapter of Genesis inculcates, we would in closing point 
out how that once again we have here another of those 
marvelous typical pictures in which this first book of Scrip- 
ture abounds; this time a dispensational foreshadowment 
of the coming restoration of Israel. 

1. Just as Jacob left the house of Gk)d (Bethel — Genesis 
28) for the land of exile, so has the Nation which had 
descended from him. 2. Just as God said to Jacob ' ' Arise, 
go up to Bethel,* ' return to the place of Divine communion 
and privilege, so will He yet call to Israel. 3. Just as the 
immediate effect upon Jacob of Gk)d's "call" was to purge 
his house from idolatry and to issue in a change of his ways 
(emblemized by "changing of garments'' — 35:2), so the 
Nation will yet be purged from their final idolatry (in con- 
nection with Antichrist) and be changed in their ways and 
walk. 4. Just as Jacob acknowledged that God had "an- 
swered him in the day of his distress'' (35 : 3), so will Israel 
when He responds to their cry in the great Tribulation. 5. 
Just as the "terror of God" fell upon the Shechemites (35: 
5), so will His terror fall once more upon the Gentiles when 
He resumes His dealings with His covenant people. 6. Just 
as when Jacob returned to Bethel he built another ' ' altar, ' * 
so will Israel once more worship God acceptably when they 
are restored to His favor. 7. Just as now the link with 
Jacob's past was severed (the death of Rebekah — 35:8), 
so will Israel die to their past life. 8. Just as God now ap- 
peared unto Jacob ' ' again, ' ' so will He, in the coming day, 
manifest Himself to Israel as of old. 9. Just as God then 

308 Gleanings in Genesis 

said '^Thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but 
Israel shall be thy name'' (35 : 10) , so his descendants shall 
no more be called Jews, but as Israel shall they be known. 
10. Just as God now for the first time discovered unto Jacob 
his name ** Almighty/' so on Israel's restoration will the 
Messiah be revealed as ''the wonderful Counsellor, the 
mighty Ood.^^ 11. Just as national prosperity was here as- 
sured unto Jacob — ^''be fruitful and multiply, a nation and 
a company of nations shall be of thee" 35 : 11 — so shall the 
prosperity and blessings promised through the prophets be- 
come theirs. 12. Just as God here said unto Jacob ''the 
land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee will I give it 
and to thy seed after thee" (35: 12), so will He say to the 
restored nation. 13. Just as Jacob poured oil on the piUar 
he erected at Bethel, so will God pour the Holy Spirit upon 
Israel and upon all flesh. 14. Just as Jacob found Bethel 
to be but a little way from Bethlehem, so shall Israel at last 
find the Bread of Life once they have had their second 
Bethel. 15. Just as Benjamin now took his place in Jacob's 
household, so will the true Benjamin — ^'^Son of his mother's 
sorrow, but also of his father's right hand" — ^take His 
rightful place among redeemed Israel. There are other 
points in this typical picture which we leave for the reader 
to search out for himself. Surely as the Christian ponders 
the wondrous and blessed future which yet awaits the Israel 
of God he cannot do less than heed that earnest word — ^ ' Ye 
that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give 
Him no rest, till He establish, until He make Jerusalem a 
praise in the earth" (Isaiah 62 : 6, 7) I 


Genesis 3749 

It is not easy to decide which of the two is the more won- 
derful and blessed — ^the grace of God which has given the 
believer a perfect standing in Christ, or the grace which 
ever bears with the believer who fails so miserably in making 
his state correspond with his standing. Which is the more 
remarkable — that, judicially, my sins are all put away for- 
ever, or, that in His governmental dealings God treats so 
leniently with my sins as a saint f Though it is true we reap 
as we sow, it also remains true concerning believers that 
God ''hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded 
us according to our iniquities" (Ps. 103: 10). 

That is a marvelous word which is found in Numbers 23 : 
21, a word that has been of untold comfort to many of the 
saints — * * He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath 
He seen perverseness in Israel." These words were spoken 
by Gk>d through the mouth of Balaam, spoken of that very 
people who so frequently were wayward and filled with mur- 
muring. Mark, the prophet does not say that iniquity and 
perverseness were not in Jacob. That would not give the 
believer confidence, which is the very thing God desires to 
give. It could never assure my poor heart to be told there 
was no sin in me for, alas I know too well there is. What I 
am to rest in is the wondrous fact that God sees no sin on 
me — that gives the conscience peace. Qod saw no perverse- 
ness and iniquity on Israel because He looked at them as 
under the Blood of the Lamb. And why is it that Gk>d sees 
no sin on believers t It is because ^Hhe Lord hath laid on 
Him (on Christ) the iniquities of us all" (Isa.,53 : 6). 

In view of this, what a walk ought to be ours. Surely we 
can do nothing now which would displease the One who has 
dealt so wondrously toward us. Surely we ought now to 
render a ready and joyful obedience to Him who has done 
so much for us. Surely we ought to abstain even from every 
appearance of eviL And yet that word ' ' ought ' ' condemns 
us, for it implies our failure. I would not say to one who 
was fulfilling his duty. You ought to do so and so. Should 
I say to any one, You ought to do this, the plain inference 
is that he is not doing it. How wondrous then, how heart- 


S12 Gleanings in Genesis 

wise purpose in all these events. He judged by 'feeble 
sense.' But ere undertaking to pass sentence upon Jacob 
let us remember that word in Rom. 2:1, *' Therefore thou 
art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgeth: 
for wherein thou judgeth another, thou condemneth thyself; 
for thou that judgeth doest the same things. '' 

Not long, however, does Jacob continue in such a state of 
mind. The next thing recorded of him reveals a better 
spirit: ''And the famine was sore in the land. And it 
came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they 
had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, 
Go again, buy us a little food'' (43: 1-2). The relief which 
had been obtained by the first journey to Egypt of Jacob's 
sons and the com they had brought back was soon exhausted. 
The famine was yet "sore in the land." Jacob bids his sons 
"Go again, buy us a little food." Does not this word 
"little "evidence the beneficent effects of God's disciplin- 
ary dealings with him? Unbelief and avarice would have 
wished for much food so as to hoard against a prolongation 
of the famine. But Jacob is contented with "little." No 
longer do we see him, as aforetime, selfish and greedy ; in- 
stead, he is desirous that others, whose stores were running 
low, should have a part as well as himself ; and, so far as 
the unknown future was concerned, he would trust Otod. 

But now a difficulty presented itself. Jacob 's sons could 
not go down to Egypt unless Benjamin accompanied them, 
and this was the last thing his father desired. A struggle 
ensued in the breast of our patriarch ; the affections of the 
father are pitted against the calls of hunger. To allay 
Jacob 's fears, Judah offers to stand as surety for his younger 
brother. And Jacob yielded, though not without a measure 
of reluctance. Yet, it is sweet to notice the manner in which 
the aged patriarch acquiesced. It was not the sullen con- 
sent of one that yielded to an inexorable fate when, in 
heart, he rebelled against it. No, he yielded in a manner 
worthy of a man of God. After arranging that every pos- 
sible means should be employed to conciliate the lord of 
Egypt, he committed the whole issue to God. 

"Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the 
man : And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, 
that He may send away your other brother, and Benjamin : 
If I be bereaved of my children, 1 am bereaved" (43: 13, 
14.) Note how Jacob speaks of God — ^"God Almighty," or 

The Sunset of Jacob's Life 313 

^'Ood, the SufBcient One." This was the name under 
which Abraham was blessed (17: 1). This was the name 
used by Isaac in blessing Jaeob, '^God Almighty 
bless thee/' etc., (28: 3). In using this name here, then, 
Jacob rests on the covenant promise and blessing, and thus 
we see that his prayer was a prayer of faith. Note further, 
his confidence in God 's sovereign power, seen in his request 
that God would so move upon the man at the head of Egypt 
that he would be made willing to send Jacob's sons away. 
Finally, mark here his spirit of resignation — ^^'If I be be- 
reaved, I am bereaved. ' ' 

Is it not lovely to mark the sequel. Jacob committed 
Benjamin into the hands of God, and he was returned safely 
to his father. When God deals with His saints He usually 
touches them in their tenderest parts. If there be one 
object around which the heart has entwined itself more than 
any other and which is likely to be God's rival, this it is of 
which we must be deprived. But if, when it is taken from 
us, we humbly resign it into God 's hands, it is not unusual 
for Him to return it. Thus Abraham on giving up Isaac, 
received him again ; so David, on giving himself up to God 
to do as seemed Him best, was preserved in the midst of 
peril; and so, in the present case of Benjamin, who later 
was returned to Jacob. 

When Jacob's sons returned home they brought with 
them a strange tale — Joseph was yet alive, in fact governor 
over all the land of Egypt. Little wonder that at first 
Jacob refused to believe his sons, for the news seemed too 
good to be true. But we read ' ' And they told him all the 
words of Joseph, which he had said unto them : and when 
he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the 
spirit of Jacob their father revived. And Israel said, It is 
enough ; Joseph my son is yet alive ; I will go and see him 
before I die" (45: 27, 28). It is beautiful to note the 
change here from Jacob to Israel, especially as this is carried 
on into the next verse, ''And Israel took his journey with 
all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacri- 
fices unto the God of his father Isaac" (46: 1). Thus, the 
first thing recorded of Jacob after his long journey to Egypt 
had begun, was the offering of sacrifices to God. Long 
years of discipline in the school of experience had, at last, 
taught him to put God first; ere he goes forward to see 
Joseph he tarries to worship the Gk>d of his father Isaac I 

314 Gleanings in Genesis 

Beautiful, too, is it to not6 that here Ood met him for the 
seventh and last recorded time (see 28:13; 31:3^ 32:1.; 
32:24; 35:1; 35:9), and said, ''Jaeob, Jacob. Aod he 
said, Here am I. And He said, I am Ood, the God of thy 
father ; fear not to go down into Egypt ; for I will there 
make of thee a great nation* I will go down with thee into 
Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again; and 
Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes'* (46: 2-4). 

Arrived in Egypt, restored to Joseph the aged patriarch 
is brought before Pharaoh: ^^And Joseph brought in Jacob 
his father, and set him before Pharaoh ; and Jacob blessed 
Pharaoh" (47: 7). The aged and feeble patriarch stands 
before the monarch of the mightiest empire of the world. 
And what dignity now marks Jacob 1 What a contrast from 
the day when he bowed himself seven times before Esau I 
There ib no cringing and fawning here. Jacob carries him- 
self as a child of God. He was a son of the King of kings, 
and ambassador of the Most High. Brief is the record, yet 
how much the words suggest when we remember that * ' the 
less is blessed of the better" (Heb. 7: 7). Note, further, 
'^And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, the days of the years of 
my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years" (49:7). 
At last Jacob has learned that his home is not here, that he 
is but a stranger and sojourner on earth. He sees now that 
life is but a journey, with a starting point and a goal — ^the 
starting point, regeneration ; the goal, heavenly glory. 

In Heb. 11 : 21 we read, **By faith Jacob, when he was a 
dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, 
leaning upon the top of his staff." It is striking to ol»crve 
that here the Holy Spirit passes by the feebler struggles of 
Jacob's faith and goes on to mention the brightness of its 
setting glory, as it beautified the closing scenes of this 
vessel of God's choice. Two distinct acts of Jacob are here 
singled out : the former is recorded in Gen. 48, the latter in 
Gen. 47 : 31. Into the probable reasons for this reversal of 
the historical order we cannot now enter, but a brief word 
concerning these two manifestations of faith will be in place. 

''And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he 
called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have 
found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thj'' hand upon 
my thigh and deal kindly and truly with me : bury me not, 
I pray thee, in Egypt: But I will lie with my fathers, 
and tiiou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me 

The Sunset of Jacob's Life S15 

in fheir bniying place. And he said, I will do as 
fhou hast said. And he said. Swear nnto me. And 
he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself on the 
top of his staff." It is exceedingly beautiful to notice this 
act of worship and what occasioned it. There is more here 
than meets the eye at first glance. This was no mere senti- 
mental whim of the aged patriarch. Qod had promised, 
many years before, to give to Jacob and to his seed the land 
of Canaan, and now His promise is '^ embraced/' Jacob had 
never possessed the land, and now he is about to die in a 
strange country. But he knows Qod's word cannot fail, 
and his faith looks forward to resurrection. At last the 
easily besetting sin (unbelief) is laid aside, and faith 
triumphs. Having secured from Joseph the assurance that 
he should not be buried in Egypt, but that his remains 
should be carried up out of Egypt and placed in the sepul- 
chre of his fathers, Jacob '^worshipped (bowing himself) 
on the top of his staff. " It was a blessed exhibition of faith, 
and of his confidence in Gk>d, that He would do all that He 
had said and perform all that He had promised. 

The second act of Jacob to which the Holy Spirit calls at- 
tention in Heb. 11 is recorded in Qen. 48. All through this 
chapter we may see how God was now in all Jacob's 
thoughts, and how His promises were the stay of his heart. 
He recounts to Joseph how God had appeared to him at 
Luz (v 3) and how He had promised to give the land of 
Canaan to him and his seed for an everlasting possession. 
He spoke of Grod as the One who ''fed me all my life long 
unto this day" (v 15), and as the One "which redeemed 
me from all evil," which was only another way of acknowl- 
edging that "goodness and mercy" had "followed" him 
"all the days of his Ufe." 

Jacob was now about to die, and he wishes to bless the 
two sons of Joseph. Joseph had his own desires and wishes 
on this subject, and his desire was that Manasseh, the first- 
bom, should receive the blessing. Accordingly, he placed 
Manasseh at Jacob 's left hand and Ephraim at his right, so 
that Jacob 's right hand might rest on the head of Manasseh 
and his left on Ephraim. But though Jacob 's natural eye- 
sight was dim, his spiritual discernment was not. Deliber- 
ately, Jacob crossed his hands "guiding his hands wit- 
tingly" (48: 14), or, as the Hebrew reads, literally, "he 
made his hands to understand." Note it is expressly said 

316 Gleanings in Genesis 

that ^'Israel" did this : it was the new man that was acting, 
not the old man, *' Jacob/' And *'by faith '* he blessed 
both the sons of Joseph. Truly, it was not by sight or 
reason. What was more unlikely than that these two young 
Egyptian princes, for this is virtually what they were, 
should ever forsake Egypt, the land of their birth, and 
migrate to Canaan I How unlikely, too, that each should 
become a separate tribe. And how improbable that the 
younger should be exalted above the elder, both in im- 
portance and number, and should become ^'a multitude of 
peoples'* (48: 19). How impossible for him to foresee (by 
any human deduction) that long centuries afterwards 
Ephraim should become representative of the kingdom of 
''Israel,'* as distinct from *'Judah." But he had heard 
God, rested on His word, and believed in the sure fulfilment 
of His promise. What a grand display of faith I Nature's 
eyes might be dim, but faith's vision was sharp: in his 
bodily weakness the strength of faith was perfected. 

After blessing Joseph's sons, Jacob turns to their father 
and says, ' ' Behold, I die : but God shall be with you, and 
bring you again unto the land of your fathers" (48:21). 
How utterly unlikely this appeared! Joseph was now 
thoroughly established and settled in Egypt. But no longer 
is Jacob walking by sight. Firm indeed was his confidence, 
and with an unshaken faith he grasps firmly the promises of 
God (that his seed should enter Canaan), and speaks out of 
a heart filled with assurance. 

The final scene (portrayed in Gen. 49) presents a fitting 
climax, and demonstrates the power of God's grace. The 
whole family is gathered about the dying patriarch, and 
one by one he blesses them. All through his earlier and 
mid life, Jacob was occupied solely with himself ; but at the 
end, he is occupied solely with others ! In days gone by, he 
was mainly concerned with planning about things present; 
but now (see 49: 1), he has thought for nothing but things 
future! One word here is deeply instructive: ''I have 
waited for thy salvation, Lord" (49 : 18). At the begin- 
ning of his life ''waiting" was something quite foreign to 
his nature : instead of waiting for God to secure for him the 
promised birth right, he sought to obtain it for himself. 
And so it was, too, in the matter of his wages from Laban. 
But now the hardest lesson of all has been learned. Grace 
has now taught him how to wait. He who had begun a good 

The Sunset of Jacob's Life 317 

work in Jacob performed and completed it. In the end 
grace triumphed. At eveningtide it was light. May God 
deepen His work of grace in the writer and reader so that 
we may *'lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth 
so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is 
set before us" (Heb. 12: 1). 


Genesis 49 

We have at last reached the closing scene in Jacob's life. 
Here and there we have beheld the light of heaven shining 
on and through our patriarch, but only too often the clouds 
of earth have obscured it. The struggle between the flesh 
and the spirit in him was fierce and protracted, but as the 
end drew near the triumphs of grace, and the faith which 
overcomes the world, were more and more manifest. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in the scene presented 
to us in Genesis 49. Long years before, Gk)d had promised 
to give the land of Palestine to Abraham and his de- 
scendants. This promise had been confirmed to Isaac, and 
renewed to Jacob. But^ up to this time, there had been no 
visible signs that the promise was about to be made good. 
Abraham and Isaac had been but ^ ' strangers and pilgrims ' ' 
in Canaan, owing none of it save a burying-ground for their 
dead, and this they had purchased. Jacob, too, had ^ ' dwelt 
in tabernacles (tents) with Abraham and Isaac." (Hebrews 
11 : 9.) And now Jacob is dying — dying not in the promised 
land, but many miles away from it. In a strange country, 
in Egypt, our partiarch prepares to leave this earthly scene ; 
but despite the feebleness of nature, the vigor of his faith 
was strikingly manifested. 

Jacob summoned to his bedside each of his twelve sons, 
and proceeded to utter one of the* most striking predictions 
to be found in all the Old Testament. Like most prophecies, 
this one of our dying patriarch has, at least, a double fulfill- 
ment. In its ultimate accomplishment it looks forward to 
the fortunes of the Twelve Tribes in **the last days" 
(Genesis 49 : 1) ; that is, it contemplates their several condi- 
tions and positions as they will be in the End-time, namely, 
during the Seventieth Week of Daniel and on into the mil- 
lennium (cf. Jeremiah 23: 19, 29; Isaiah 2: 2 for the '^last 
days'' of Israel). Concerning the final fulfillment of 
Jacob's prophecy we cannot now write; instead, we shall 
note how strikingly the past history of the descendants of 
Jacob's twelve sons has corresponded with their father's 
dying utterance : 

* ' Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob ; 
and hearken unto Israel your father. Beuben, thou art 


Jacob's Prophecy 319 

my first-boniy my might, and the beginning of my strength, 
the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power. 
Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel, because thou wentest 
up to thy father's bed, then defilest thou it; he went up to 
my couch/* (Gtenesis 49:2-4.) Three things are here 
said of Reuben : First, as the first-bom son of Jacob, the 
place of ^^ excellency, '' the position of dignity, was his 
natural birthright. Second, this position of preeminenqy 
had been forfeited through his sin in defiling his father's 
bed, and Jacob here foretells that the tribe which is to 
descend from Reuben ' ' Shalt not excel. ' ' Third, Jacob also 
predicted that this tribe should be '' unstable as water,*' 
which is a figurative expression taken from the passing away 
of water which had dried up like a summer stream. We 
shall now refer to several passages in the Old Testament 
which treat of Reuben, showing how the fortunes of this 
tribe verified the words of the dying patriarch. 

Let us turn first to 1 Chronicles v : 1, 2 : ' ^ Now the sons 
of Reuben, the first-bom of Israel (for he was the first- 
bom) ; but, for as much as he defiled his father's bed his 
birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of 
Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the 
birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and 
of him (viz., of Judah, instead of Reuben as it ought to- 
have been) came the Chief Ruler (i. e., Christ) ; but the 
birthright was Joseph's." In this striking passage the 
''birthright" refers, of course, to the position of excellency, 
and this, as Jacob declared it should be, was taken away 
from Reuben and given to the sons of Joseph (they receiv- 
ing the double or ''first-bom's" portion) ; and Judah, not 
Reuben, becoming the royal tribe from which Messiah 
sprang, and thus "prevailing" above his brethren. Verily, 
then, Reuben did not "excel." 

Second, as we trace the fortunes of this tribe through the 
Old Testament it will be found that in nothing did they 
"excel." From this tribe came no judge, no king, and no 
prophet. This tribe (together with Gad) settled down on 
the wilderness side of the Jordan, saying, "Bring us not 
over Jordan.'* (Numbers 32 : 5.) From this same scripture 
it appears that the tribe of Reuben was, even then, but 
a cattle loving one — ^"now the children of Reuben and 
the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle ; 
and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, 

320 Gleanings in Genesis 

that, behold, the place was a place for cattle came 

and spoke unto Moses and Eleazar the priest saying. . . . 
the country which the Lord smote before the congregation of 
Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle. 
Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, 
let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and 
bring us not over Jordan." (Numbers 32: 1-5.) With this 
agrees Judges 5 : 15, 16 : ' ' For the divisions of Reuben 
there were great thoughts of heart. Why abodest thou 
among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks. 
For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of 
heart." When the land was divided among the tribes in 
the days of Joshua, the portion allotted to Reuben served, 
again, to fulfill the prophecy of Jacob — it was the southern- 
most and smallest on the east of Jordan. 

Third, this tribe was to be "unstable as water," it was to 
dry up like a stream in summer; it was, in other words, to 
enjoy no numerical superiority. In harmony with this was 
the prophecy of Moses concerning Reuben — ^'^Let Reuben 
live, and not die; and (or "but") let his men be few." 
Note, that at the first numbering of the tribes, Reuben had 
46,500 men able to go forth to war (Numerical 1: 21), but 
when next they were numbered they showed a slight de- 
crease — 43,730. (Numbers 26: 7.) This is the more note- 
worthy because most of the other tribes registered an in- 
crease. Remark, too, that Reuben was among those who 
stood on Mt. Ebal to "curse," not among those who stood 
on Mt. Gerizim to "bless." (See Deuteronomy 27 : 12, 13.) 
In 1 Chronicles 26 : 31, 32, we read : "In the fortieth year 
of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were 
found among them mighty men of valor at Jazer of Gilead. 
And his brethren, men of valor, were two thousand and 
seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers 
over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of 
Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs 
of the king." It is also deeply significant to discover that 
when Jehovah commenced to inflict His judgments upon 
Israel we are told, "In those days the Lord began to cut 
Israel short; and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of 
Israel; from Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the 
Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from 
Arser, which is by the River Amon, even Gilead and 
Bashan." (2 Kings 10: 32, 33.) Thus it will be found 

Jacob's Prophecy 321 

tiiroughout; at no point did Reuben ^^ excel" — ^his dignity 
and glory completely dried up! 

* ^ Simeon and Levi are brethren ; instruments of cruelty 
are in their habitations. my Soul, come not thou into 
their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou 
united ; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self- 
will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for 
it was fierce ; and their wrath, for it was cruel ; I will divide 
them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.'' (49: 5-7.) 
What a proof are these verses of the Divine Inspiration of 
the scriptures ! Had Moses been left to himself he surely 
would have left out this portion of Jacob's prophecy, seeing 
that he was himself a descendant of the tribe of Levi ! 

Simeon and Levi are here linked together and are termed 
''instruments of cruelty." The historic reference is, no 
doubt, to Genesis 34: 25, where we read: ''And it came 
to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of 
the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah 's brethren, took 
each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and 
slew all the males." It would seem from the fact that 
Simeon's name is here mentioned first that he was the leader 
in that wickedness. It is not unlikely that Simeon was also 
the one who took the lead in the conspiracy to get rid of 
Joseph, for Simeon was the one whom Joseph ''bound" 
(Genesis 42: 24) ere he sent his brethem back to Jacob. 
It is highly interesting to notice how that the later refer- 
ences to this tribe correspond in character with what we 
know of their ancestor. For example : When Judah went 
up to secure his portion in Canaan, he called upon Simeon 
to help him (Judges 1 : 3), as if summoning to his aid the 
men who possessed the old fierceness of their progenitor. 
"And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with 
me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites ; 
and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot — so Simeon 
went with him." And so again, we read in 1 Chronicles 4: 
42, 43: "And some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, 
five hundred men, went to Mount Seir, having for their 
captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, 
the Hons of Ishi. And they smote the rest of the Amalekites 
that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day." 

Concerning Levi it is interesting to note that when Moses 
came down from the mount and saw Israel worshipping the 
calf, that when he said, "Who is on the Lord's sidet" we 

322 Gleanings in Genesis 

read, '^All the sons of Levi gathered themselves together 
unto him, and he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord Qod 
of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in 
and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay 
every man his brother, and every man his companion, and 
every man his neighbor. And the Children of Levi did 
according to the word of Moses : and there fell of the people 
that day about three thousand men." (Exodus 32: 27, 
28.) Beautiful is it, also, to learn how similar devotion to 
the Lord and boldness in acting for Him cancelled Jacob's 
''curse" and secured Jehovah's blessing. In Numbers 25: 
6-13 we are told: ''And, behold, one of the Children of 
Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish 
woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the con- 
gregation of the Children of Israel, who were weeping be- 
fore the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And 
when Phineas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the 
priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and 
took a javelin in his hand ; and went after the man of Israel 
into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of 
Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague 
was stayed from the Children of Israel. And those that 
died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. And 
the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Phineas, the son of 
Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned My wrath 
away from the Children of Israel, while he was zealous for 
My sake among them, that I consumed not the Children of 
Israel in My jealousy. Wherefore say, behold, I give unto 
him my covenant of peace; and he shall have it, and his 
seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priest- 
hood, because he was zealous for his Gk>d, and made an 
atonement for the Children of Israel.'* Thus the "curse" 
on Levi was revoked. Levi was first joined to Simeon in 
cruelty, but after, he was joined to the Lord in grace I 

That which is most prominent, however, in Jacob's 
prophecy concerning the tribes of Simeon and Levi is that 
they were to be " divided' ' and ' ' scattered ' ' in Israel. (See 
49: 7.) And most literally and remarkably was this ful- 
filled. When the land was divided in the days of Joshua, 
we learn that Simeon received not a separate territory in 
Canaan, but obtained his portion within the allotment of 
Judah (see Joshua 19 : 1-8) : thus the Simeoiiites were 
necessarily "scattered," being dispersed among the cities of 

Jacob's Prophecy S2S 

Judah. So it was with the Levites also ; their portion was 
the forty-^ight cities which were scattered throughout the 
inheritance of the other tribes. (See Numbers 35: 8; 
Joshua 14: 4, and Joshua 21.) Thus, while each of the 
other tribes had a separate portion which enabled them to 
be congregated together, the descendants of Simeon and 
Levi were ''divided'* and *' scattered/' Exactly as Jacob 
had, centuries before, declared they should be I 

'^ Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; 
thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's 
children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's 
whelp : from the prey, my son, thou art gone up : he stooped 
down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall 
rouse him up f The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor 
a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come ; and 
unto Him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his 
foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he 
washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of 
grapes : His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white 
with milk." (49:8-12.) 

This part of Jacob 's prophecy concerning Judah finds its 
ultimate fulfillment in Christ. With it should be coupled 
1 Chronicles 5:2: ''Judah prevailed above his brethren, 
and of him is the Chief Ruler," a, "Prince"; the Hebrew 
word here is ' ' Nagid' ' and is the same term which is trans- 
lated "Messiah the Prince" in Daniel 9: 24. It was from 
this tribe our Lord came. Returning now to the words of 

First, we are told of Judah : ' ' Through art he whom thy 
brethren shall praise." The word here for "praise" is 
always used of praise or worship which is offered to God I 
Christ is the One who shall yet receive the praise and wor- 
ship of His "brethren" according to the fiesh, namely, 
Israel. Second, of Judah, Jacob said, * ' Thy hand shall be in 
the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow 
down before thee." (Genesis 49: 8.) So, again, Christ is 
the One who shall yet have dominion over Israel and sub- 
due their enemies. This dominion of the tribe of Judah 
commenced in the days of David, who was the first king 
from that tribe ; and it was during his reign that Judah 's 
hand was "in the neck of" their "enemies." Third, the 
destinies of the tribe of Judah is here contemplated under 
the figure of a "lion," which at once reminds us of Revela- 

324 Gleanings in Genesis 

tion 5: 5, where the Lord Jesus is expressly denominated 
**The Lion of the Tribe of Judah." 

In dealing with the destinies of the tribe of Judah under 
the figure of a '*lion,'' it is to be observed that this tribe's 
history is contemplated under three distinct stages, accord- 
ing to the growth or age of the lion. First, we have **a 
lion's whelp," then "a lion," lastly "an old lion" — the 
gradual growth in power of this tribe being here set forth. 
We would suggest that this looks at the tribe of Judah first 
from the days of Joshua up to the time of Saul; then we 
have the full grown lion in the days of the fierce warrior 
David ; lastly, from Solomon 's reign and onwards we have 
the "old lion." 

"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah; nor a law- 
giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto 
Him shall the gathering of the people be. " (49 : 10.) This 
calls for a separate word. The Hebrew term for "sceptre" 
here is translated * * tribe ' ' in verses 16 and 28 of this same 
chapter — ^according to its usage in scripture it signifies the 
tribal-rod or staff of office which belonged to any tribe and 
was the ensign of authority. This part of Jacob's prophecy, 
then, intimated that the tribal-rod should not depart from 
Judah until a certain eminent Personage had come ; in other 
words, that Judah should retain both its tribal distinctness 
and separate authority until Shiloh, the Messiah, had ap- 
peared. And most remarkably was this prophecy fulfilled. 
The separate Kingdom of Israel (the Ten Tribes) was de- 
stroyed at an early date, but Judah was still in the land 
when Messiah came. 

It is further to be noted that Jacob declared of Judah 
that there should not depart from this tribe "a lawgiver 
until Shiloh." It is a striking fact that after Shiloh had 
come the legal authority vested in this tribe disappeared, as 
is evident from John 18:31: "Then said Pilate unto 
them, Take ye Him, and judge Him according to your law. 
The Jews therefore said unto him : It is not lawful for us 
to put any man to death." What a remarkable confession 
this was! It was an admission that they were no longer 
their own governors, but instead, under the dominion of a 
foreign power. He that has the power to condemn an 
offender to death is the governor or "lawgiver" of a coun- 
try. It is "not lawful for us" said Caiaphas and his asso- 
ciates — ^you, the Boman governor, alone, can pass sentence 


Jacob's Prophecy 325 

of death on Jesus of Nazareth. By their own admission 
Q^nesis 49 : 10 had received its fulfillment. No longer had 
they a ** lawgiver" of their own stock! By their ** words*' 
they were '^condemned." (Matthew 12: 37.) The 
*' sceptre'* had departed, the ''lawgiver'* had disappeared, 
therefore — Shiloh must have come. 

''Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be" looks 
forward to Christ 's second coming, as also do the words that 
follow : ' ' Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass 's colt 
unto the choice vine ; he washed his garments in wine, and 
his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes shall be red 
with wine, and his teeth white with milk." (Genesis 49 : 11, 
12.) The reference here seems to be a double one: first to 
the tribe of Judah, second to Christ Himself. Judah's por- 
tion in the land was the vine-growing district in the South. 
(See 2 Chronicles 26: 9, 10.) Note, too, in Song of Solo- 
mon 1 : 14 that we read of ' ' the vineyards of Engedi ' ' and 
in Joshua 25 : 62 we learn that ' ' Engedi ' * was one of the 
cities of Judah ; note further Joshua 15 : 55 that ' ' Carmel 
was also included in Judah's portion. The application of 
Genesis 49 : 11, 12, to our Lord may be seen by comparing 
Isaiah 63 : 1-3 : " Who is this that cometh from Edom, with 
dyed garments from Bozrah 1 This that is glorious in His 
apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength 1 I that 
speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art 
Thou red in Thine apparel; and Thy garments like Him that 
treadeth in the winefatf — compare above 'he washed his 
garments in wiue, and his clothes in the blood of grapes' 
— I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people 
there was none with Me: for I will tread them in Mine 
anger, and trample them in My fury ; and their blood shall 
be sprinkled upon my garments. ' ' 

"Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he 
shall be for a haven of ships ; and his border shall be unto 
Zidon.*' (Genesis 49: 13.) In blessing his children Jacob 
here passes from his fourth to his tenth son. Why should 
he do this? Everything in scripture is perfect. Not only is 
its every word Divinely inspired, but the very arrangement 
of its words also evidences the handiwork of the Holy 
Spirit. God is a God of order, and every diligent student 
discovers this everjrwhere in His word. When blessing his 
fourth son we found that the words of our dying patriarch 
manifestly looked forward to Christ Himself, who, accord- 

326 Gleanings in Genesis 

ing to the flesh, sprang from this tribe of Judah. Hence, 
because of the close connection of our Lord with the land 
of Zebulun during the days of His earthly sojourn, these 
two tribes are here placed in juxtaposition. Haying spoken 
of the tribe of which our Lord was horn, we have next men- 
tioned the tribe in whose territory He lived for thirty years. 
This is, we believe, the main reason why the tenth son of 
Jacob is placed immediately after the fourth. 

The part played by the tribe of Zebulun in the history of 
the nation of Israel was not a conspicuous one, but though 
referred to but rarely as a tribe, each time they do come be- 
fore us it is in a highly honorable connection. First, we 
read of them in Judges 5, where Deborah celebrates in song 
Israel's victory over Jabin and Sisera, and recounts the 
parts taken by the different tribes. Of Zebulun and Naph- 
tali she says, ^^ Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that 
jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of 
the field.'* (Verses 18.) Again, in 1 Chronicles 12, where 
we have enumerated those who * ' Came to David to Hebron, 
to turn the kingdom of Saul to him" (verse 33), concerning 
Zebulun we read, ''0/ Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, 
expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, 
which could keep rank, they were not of double heart,*' 
And again, in this same chapter, ^'Moreover they that were 
nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, 
brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and 
on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of raisins, and wine, and oil, 
and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in 
Israel." (1 Chronicles 12: 40.) 

Jacob's prophecy concerning the tribe, which was to 
spring from his tenth son, referred, mainly, to the position 
they were to occupy in the land of Canaan, and also to the 
character of the people themselves. Moses' prophecy con- 
cerning the twelve tribes, recorded in Deuteronomy 33, is 
very similar to that of Jacob's with respect to Zebulun: 
**And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going 
out (i. e., to sea) ; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall 
call the people unto the mountain (t, e, Zion) ; there they 
shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck 
of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the 
sand." (Verses 18, 19.) 

The character of Zebulun as here outlined by Jacob is 
very different from that of Judah, who is pictured as dwell- 

Jacob's Prophecy 827 

ing, more or less, apart from the other tribes — as a lion 
*'gone up from the prey ;" very different, too, from Issachar, 
here referred to as an ass crouching down in lazy sloth. 
(See verses 14, 15.) Zebulnn was to be a commercial and 
seafaring tribe. When Jacob said of Zebulun, ''his border 
shall be unto Zidion," which was in Phoenica, he implied 
that it would take part in Phoenican commerce. 

The portion which fell to the tribe of Zebulun (Joshua 
19:19, 11), together with that of the tribe of Naphtali 
which joined theirs, became known as * * Galilee of the (Jen- 
tiles. ' ' (See Matthew 4 : 15.) These Galileans were to be an 
energetic, enterprising people, who were to mingle freely 
with the nations. The prophecy of Moses concerning Zebu- 
lun, to which we have already referred, clearly establishes 
this fact (see Deuteronomy 33 : 18, 19), and, plainly looked 
forward to New Testament times, when the men of Galilee 
took such a prominent part as the first heralds of the Cross. 
Note that Moses said, '^Rejoice Zebulun, in thy going out^^ 
Is it not remarkable that no less than eleven out of the 
twelve apostles of Christ were men of OalUee — Judas alone 
being an exception ! How beautiful are the next prophetic 
words of Moses in this connection: ''They shall call 
the people unto the mountain : there they shall offer sacri- 
fices of righteousness ! ' ' (Deuteronomy 33 : 19.) 

One other word concerning Jacob 's prophecy about Zebu- 
lun. Of this tribe he said, "He shall be for a haven of 
ships." Galilee was to provide a refuge, a harbor, a place 
where the storm-tossed ships might anchor at rest. And 
here it was that Joseph and Mary, with the Christ Child, 
found a ' ' haven ' ' after their return from 'Egypt ! Here it 
was the Lord Jesus dwelt until the beginning of His public 
ministry. And note, too, John 12: 1, "After these things 
Jesus walked in Oalilee : for He would not walk in Jewiy, 
because the Jews sought to kill Him. ' ' Galilee was still a 
''haven'' to mml 

"Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two 
burdens : And he saw that rest was good, and the land that 
it was pleasant ; and he bowed his shoulder to bear, and be- 
came a servant unto tribute." (Gen. 49:14, 15.) Upon 
these verses the writer has but little light. It is difficult 
to determine the precise force and significance of the several 
statements that Jacob made here concerning his fifth son ; 
nor is it easy to trace the fulfilment of them in the record of 

328 Gleanings in Genesis 

the tribe which sprang from him. One thing is clear, how- 
ever: to compare a man (or a tribe) to an '"ass" is, today, 
a figure of reproach, but it was not so in Jacob 's time. In 
Israel, the ass was not looked upon with contempt ; instead, 
it was an honorable animal. Not only was it a useful beast 
of burden, but people of rank rode on them. (See Judg. 
10 : 4 ; 12 : 14. ) Until the days of Solomon Israel had no 
horses, being forbidden by Jehovah to rear them (see Deut. 
17: 16) ; but asses were as common and as useful among 
them as horses are now among us. The ''ass" was a re- 
minder to Israel that they were a peculiar (separated) 
people, whose trust was to be in the Lord and not in horses 
and chariots, which were the confidence of the other nations 
of antiquity. 

' ' Issachar is termed by Jacob a * * strong ass, ' ' and the ful- 
filment of this portion of Jacob's prophecy is clearly dis- 
covered in the subsequent history of this tribe. In Numbers 
26, where we have recorded the second numbering of those 
among the tribes which were able to go forth to war, we 
find that only Judah and Dan out of the twelve tribes were 
numerically stronger than Issachar, and Dan had but one 
hundred fighting men more than Issachar. Again, in the 
days of the Kings, the tribe of Issachar had become stronger 
still, for while in Numbers 26 : 25, we read that the number 
of their men able to go forth to war were 64,300, in 1 Chron- 
icles 7 : 5 we are told, ' ' And the brethren among all the 
families of Issachar were valiant men of might, reckoned in 
all by the genealogies 87,000 ! '* 


Genesis 49 

' ' Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of IsraeL 
Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder m the path, that 
biteth the horse 's heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. 
I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord.*' ((Jen. 49: IB- 
IS. ) With this prophecy of Jacob concerning the tribe of 
Dan should be compared that of Moses, recorded in Deu- 
teronomy 33:22, ''And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's 
whelp: he shall leap from Bashan." It is to be seen that 
both predicted evil of that tribe, around which there seems 
to be a cloud of mysteiy. 

The first thing that Scripture records of Dan is his low 
birth. (See Gen. 30: 1-6.) Next, he is brought before us 
in Genesis 37 : 2, though he is not there directly mentioned 
by name. It is highly significant that of the four sons of 
Bilhah and Zilpah, Dan was the oldest, being at that time 
twenty years of age, and so, most likely, the ringleader in 
the **evil'' which Joseph reported to their father. Next, 
in Genesis 46, reference is made to the children of Jacob's 
sons: the descendants of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and the 
others, being specifically named in order. But when Dan 
is reached, the names of his sons are not given ; instead, they 
are simply called by the tribal name — Hushim or Shuham. 
(See 46:23.) This is the more striking, because in Num- 
bers 26 we meet with the same thing again : the children 
bom to each of Jacob 's twelve sons are carefully enumerated 
until Dan is reached, and then, as in Genesis 46, his de- 
scendants are not named, simply the tribal title being given. 
(See Num. 26:42.) This concealment of the names of 
Dan's children is the first indication of that silent ''blotting 
out" of his name, which meets us in the total omission of this 
tribe from the genealogies recorded in 1 Chronicles 2 to 10, 
as well as in Revelation 7, where, again, no mention is made 
of any being ' * sealed' ' out of the tribe of Dan. There seems 
to have been an unwillingness on the part of the Holy Spirit 
to even mention this tribe by name. In cases where the 
names of all the tribes are given, Dan is generally far down, 
often last of all, in the list. For example, we read in Num- 
bers 10 : 25, ' ' And the standard of the camp of the children 


3S0 Gleanings in Genesis 

of Dan set forward, which was the rearward of aU ihe camps 
throughout their hosts/' Again, Dan was ihe last of the 
tribes to receive his inheritance when Joshua divided up the 
land — ^ ' This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of 
Dan according to their families, these cities with their vil- 
lages. When they had made an end of dividing the land for 
inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an 
inheritance to Joshua.'' (Josh. 19:47-49.) Note again 
that in 1 Chronicles 27 : 16-22, where all the tribes are re- 
ferred to, Dan is mentioned last! 

Putting together the several prophecies of Jacob and 
Moses we find two traits met in Dan — treachery * * a serpent 
by the way, an adder in the path"; and cruelty: ''Dan is 
a lion's whelp; he shall leap from Bashan." In Judges 18 
the Holy Spirit has recorded at length how these predictions 
received their first fulfilment. The attack of this tribe on 
Laish was serpentile in its cunning and lionlike in its cruel 
execution. Then it was that Dan leaped from Bashan, and 
from the slopes of Mount Hermon (which was in the terri- 
tory of this tribe) like a young lion and like an adder 
springing on its prey. From Judges 18 : 30 we learn that 
Dan was the first of the tribes to fall into Idolatry. Appar- 
ently they remained in this awful condition right until the 
days of Jeroboam, for we find that when this apostate king 
set up his two golden calves, saying, ''Behold thy gods, O 
Israel," he set up one in Bethel and "the other put he in 
Dan.'' (IKi. 12:28, 29.) And, as late as the time of Jehu 
these two golden calves were still standing, and it is a sig- 
nificant and solemn fact that though there was a great 
reformation in his day, so that the prophets and worshippers 
of Baal were slain and the images were burned and the 
house of Baal was broken down, yet we are told, ' * Howbeit, 
from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Is- 
rael to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the 
golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.'' 
(2 Ki. 10:29.) 

One other item in Jacob 's prophecy concerning this tribe 
remains to be noticed — ^"Dan shall judge his people.*' This 
received a partial fulfilment in the days of Samson — ^though 
we doubt not that its final fulfilment awaits the time of the 
great tribulation. Joshua 19:41 informs us that among 
the towns allotted to this tribe were Zorah and EshtaoL 
Compare with this Judges 13 : 2, which tells us that the par- 

Jacob's Prophecy, continued 331 

ents of Samson belonged to the tribe of Dan and had their 
home in Zorah. How remarkably the prophecies of Jacob 
and Moses combined in the person of Samson (one of Is- 
rael's '* judges") is apparent on the surface. Serpent-like 
methods and the lion's strength characterized each step in 
his strange career. How Samson ^'bit/' as it were, *'the 
horse 's heels ' ' in his death ! 

It is to be noted that after Jacob had completed his 
prophecy concerning Dan, and ere he took up the next 
tribe, that he said, *'I have waited for Thy salvation, O 
Lord." (Gkn. 49: 18.) This is very striking and signifi- 
cant, coming in just where it does. Having spoken of Dan 
as "a serpent by the way," the Holy Spirit seems to have 
brought to his mind the words spolren by God to that old 
Serpent the Devil, recorded in Genesis 3 : 15. The eye of 
the dying patriarch looks beyond the ''Serpent" to the one 
who shall yet * ' bruise his head, " and therefore does he say, 
* ' I have waited for Thy salvation, Lord. " No doubt these 
very words will yet be appropriated in a coming day by the 
godly remnant among the Jews. If, as it has been generally 
held by prophetic students, both ancient and modem, both 
among Jews and Gentiles, that the Anti-Christ will spring 
from this tribe of Dan, the ancient prophecy of Jacob con- 
cerning the descendants of this son will then receive its final 
fulfilment. Then, in a supreme manner, will Dan (in the 
person of the Anti-Christ) "judflrc" and rule over ''his 
people," i. e., Israel; then, will Dan be a "serpent in the 
way" and "an adder in the path," then will he treacher- 
ously and cruelly '^bite the horse's heels." And then, too, 
will that faithful company, who refuse to worship the Beast 
or receive his "mark," cry, "I have waited for Thy salva- 
tion, Lord!" 

' ' Gad, a troop shall overcome him : but he shall overcome 
at the last." (Gen. 49: 19.) The Hebrew word for troop 
here signifies a marauding or plundering troop. The cog- 
nate to this word is rendered "companies" in 2 Kings 5 : 2 
— ^"And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had 
brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little 
maid." The same word is translated "bands" in 2 Kings 
24: 2 — ^"And the Lord sent against him hands of the Chal- 
dees, and hands of the Syrians, and hands of the Moabites, 
and hands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against 
Judah to destroy it, according to the Word of the Lord, 

3S2 Gleanings in Genesis 

which He spake by His servants, the prophets/' When, 
therefore, Jacob said of this tribe, '*Gad, a troop shall over- 
come him, but he shall overcome at the last," the reference 
seems to be to alternate defeat and victory. This tribe was 
to be in a constant state of warfare, leading like the Bedouin 
Arabs a wandering, wild, and unsettled existence. One 
wonders whether the (slangy) expression '' Gad about '' may 
not have its origin in the character of this tribe.'* 

We may notice, once more, how closely parallel with this 
prediction of Jacob is the prophecy of Mosea concerning this 
tribe : ' ' And of Gad he said. Blessed be he that enlargeth 
Gad : he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the 
crown of the head. And he provided the first part for him- 
self, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he 
seated." (Deut. 33 : 20, 21.) The first part of this proph- 
ecy emphasizes the unsettled and warlike character of Gad. 
The second statement that Gad ''provided the first part (of 
the inheritance) for himself," has reference to the fact that 
this tribe sought and obtained as their portion the land on 
the east side of the Jordan, and this before Canaan was di- 
vided among the tribes in the days of Joshua. This portion 
of Gad's became known as **the land of Gilead." (See 
Deut. 3:12-15.) Note, further, that Moses said, ''Blessed 
be he that enlargeth Gad." The fulfilment of this may be 
seen by a reference to 1 Chronicles 5 : 16, where we read 
that the children of Gad dwelt in "all the suburbs of 
Sharon." Note that in Joshua 13:24-28 no mention is 
made of Sharon : their border was thus ' ' enlarged ! ' ' 

The position that Gad occupied was a precarious one. 
Being cut oflf from that of the other tribes, they were more 
or less isolated. They were open, constantly, to the attacks 
from the desert bands or troops, such as the Ammonites and 
Midianites, and consequently, they lived in a continual 
state of warfare. Jacob 's words were being repeatedly ful- 
filled. Gad suffered severely from their lack of faith and 
enterprise in asking for the territory they did. Their choice 
was almost as bad as Lot's, and proved as disastrous, for 
they were among the first tribes that were carried into cap- 
tivity. (See 1 Chron. 5 : 26.) 

For particular illustrations of the fulfilment of Jacob's 
prophecy we may note the following: "And it came to pass 
in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war 
against IsraeL" Note now, the portion of Israel which 

Jacob's Prophecy, continued 333 

they assailed: ''And it was so, that when the children of 
Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Oilead went 
to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: and they said 
Tinto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight 
with the children of Ammon. . . . Then Jephthah went 
with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him captain 
over them : and Jephthah uttered all his words before the 
Lord in Mizpah. And Jephthah sent messengers unto the 
king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to 
do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my 
land? (Judg. 11:4-6, 11, 12.) ''Then Nahash the Am- 
monite came up, and encamped against Jabesh^gilead: and 
all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant 
with US, and we will serve thee/' (1 Sam. 11 : 1.) But in 
the End-time Gad "shall overcome/* It is to this, we be- 
lieve, that Jeremiah 49 : 1-2, refers : * ' Concerning the Am- 
monites thus saith the Lord ; hath Israel no sons ? hath he 
no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his 
people dwell in his cities? Therefore, behold, the days 
come, saith the Lord, that I will cause an alarm of war to 
be heard in Kabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a 
desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire : 
then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, said 
the Lord.*' And again in Zephaniah 2:8-9, "I have heard 
the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of 
Ammon, whereby they have reproached My people, and 
magnified themselves against their border. Therefore, as I 
live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab 
shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, 
even the breeding of nettles and salt pits, and a perpetual 
desolation : the residue of My people shall spoil them, and 
the remnant of My people shall possess them/' 

' ' Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield 
royal dainties ' ' ( Gen. 49 : 20) . Asher 's descendants, in com- 
mon with the tribes of Zebulun, Naphtali and Issachar, 
were settled in the northern part of Palestine, which was 
called by the general name of "Galilee of the Gentiles,** 
which name was perfectly appropriate to Asher, for from 
first to last this was a half Gentile tribe. Asher 's territory 
lay in the extreme north of Palestine between Mount Leb- 
anon and the Mediterranean Sea, and included within its 
borders the celebrated cities of Tyre and Sidon (See Josh. 
19: 24-31). The portion of this tribe was better known by 

S34 Gleanings in Genesis 

its Grecian name of Phoenicia, which means ''land of the 
pahns," so designated because of the luxuriant palms which 
abounded there. It was to this land, preeminently rich and 
beautiful, Jacob 's prediction looked. 

''Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield 
ROYAL dainties.** Let us turn now to a few Scriptures 
which furnish illustrations of the repeated fulfillment 
of Jacob 's prophecy. 

"And Hiram, king of Tyre, sent messengers to David, and 
cedar trees and carpenters and masons, and they built 
David a house'* (2 Sam. 5: 11). This city of Tyre was, as 
pointed out above, within the territoiy of the tribe of Asher 
(Josh. 19:29), and here we learn how the king of Tyre 
yielded or provided "royal dainties" by furnishing both 
material and workmen for building a house for king David. 

We behold a repetition of this in the days of Solomon. 
In 1 Kings 5 we read: "And Hiram, king of Tyre, sent his 
servants unto Solomon, for he had heard that they had 
anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram 
was ever a lover of David. And Solomon sent to Hiram, 
saying. Thou knowest how that David, my father, could 
not build a house unto the name of the Lord his Gk)d, for the 
wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord 
put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord 
my Qod hath given me rest on every side, so that there is 
neither adversary nor evil occurrent. And, behold, I pur- 
pose to build a house unto the name of the Lord my Gk)d, as 
the Lord spake unto David, my father, saying. Thy son, 
whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build 
a house unto my name. Now, therefore, command thou that 
they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon ; and my servants 
shall be with thy servants ; and unto thee will I give hire 
for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: 
for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can 
skill to hew timbers like unto the Sidonians. And it eame 
to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he 
rejoiced greatly, and said. Blessed be the Lord this day, 
which hath given unto David a wise son over this great 
people. And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have con- 
sidered the things which thou sentest to me for : and I will 
do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning 
timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from 
Lebanon unto the sea, and I will convey them by sea in 

Jacob's Prophecy, continued 335 

floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will 
cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive 
them : and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food 
for my household. So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and 
fir trees according to all his desire^' (verses 1-10). Thus 
again do we see how Asher '* yielded royal dainties." 

Jacob also said: ''Out of Asher his bread shall be fat." 
Is it not striking to discover that in the time of famine in 
the days of Elijah that Otod sent his prophet to the widow 
in Zarephath, saying: ''Behold, I have commanded a widow 
woman there to sustain thee" (1 Ki. 17:9). Note Zare- 
phath was in Sidon (see Lu. 4:26) and Sidon was in 
Asher^s territory (Josh. 19 : 28). 

In 2 Chronicles 30, we have another illustration, along 
a different line, of how Asher yielded '^ royal dainties/* It 
was at the time of a great religious revival in Israel. King 
Hezekiah "sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters 
also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to 
the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover 
■onto the Lord God of Israel" (verse 1). Then we are told, 
' ' So the posts passed from city to city, through the country 
of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun: but they 
laughed them to scorn, and mocked them" (verse 10). But 
in marked and blessed contrast from this we read : ' ' Never- 
theless, divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun hum- 
bled themselves, and came to Jerusalem^* (verse 11). 

The New Testament supplies us with two more illustra- 
tions. In Luke 2 we learn of how one who belonged to this 
Tribe of Asher yielded a most blessed ' ' dainty ' ' to Israel 's 
new-bom King, even the Lord Jesus. For when His parents 
brought the Child Jesus into the Temple, following the 
beautiful Song of Simeon, we read, "And there was one 
Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the Tribe 
of Asher; she was of a great age, and had lived with an 
husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a 
widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed 
not from the Temple, but served God with fastings and 
prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant 
gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to 
all that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (Lu. 2:36- 

Finally, note in Acts 27 we are told that when the apostle 
Paul was being carried prisoner to Rome, that when the ship 

336 Gleanings in Genesis 

reached Sidon (which was in the borders of Asher) that 
''Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty 
to go unto his friends to refresh himself (verse 3). Thus, 
once more, do we read of ** bread'' out of Asher. 

* * Naphtali is a hind let loose : he giveth goodly words' ' 
(Gen. 49 : 21). The word Naphtali means ** wrestling*' (see 
Gen. 30:8). '* Naphtali is a hind let loose*'; it was as 
though Jacob said, Naphtali is as a deer caught in the toils 
of the hunters, hemmed in by them, but by his struggles she 
escapes from their snares. Naphtali would be a hind 'Uet 
loose." This expression has a double meaning. In the 
Hebrew the word signifies, first, **sent" or *'sent forth," 
just as a stag driven from its covert goes forth, scattering 
her pursuers. But the word also means * ' let loose " or * * let 
go." It is the term used of Noah when he ''sent forth" the 
raven and the dove from the ark ; as also of the priest, when 
at the cleansing of the leper, he let go or let loose the living 
bird. The word expresses the joy of an animal which has 
been made captive and, in its recovered liberty, bounds 
forth in gladness, just as we have often seen a dog jumping 
for joy after it has been unchained. Jacob, then, pictures 
Naphtali rejoicing as a freed hind. Then he foretells the 
joy which the Tribe shall express after its escape — * ' goodly 
words" he shall give forth. After it regains its libertj% the 
Tribe shall sing a Song of Praise. 

The striking fulfillment of this prediction by our dying 
patriarch is seen in the victory of Barak, the great hero of 
this Tribe (see Judg. 4:6), who, sent forth as a hind from 
its cover in the mountains of Galilee, came down Mount 
Tabor to face on foot the hosts of Sisera with his nine hun- 
dred chariots of iron. Barak, like a hind let loose, was at 
first timid of responding to Deborah's call. He had not 
dared to go forth with his little handful of men unless 
Deborah had sent for him and assured him of success. Bead 
through Judges 4, and note the hindlike swiftness of his 
onslaught down the slopes of Tabor. It is significant that 
the name ''Barak" means "lightning," and, like lightning 
he burst as a storm on the startled hosts of Sisera, which 
were scattered by the hand of God at his unexpected ap- 
proach. (Note Judg. 4: 14.) "So Barak went down from 
Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him," not "with 
him" — ^he running ahead of all! 

Jacob's Prophecy, continued 337 

The battle was not of Barak's choosing, rather was it 
forced upon him by Deborah. He was literally *'sent 
forth ' ' into the valley. ( Note ' ' sent ' ' in Judges 5:15.) In 
the heights of Tabor, Barak and his men were beyond the 
reach of Sisera's cavalry and chariots. But down in the 
valley, on foot, they would be like a herd of defenseless deer, 
unarmed, without either spear or shield, for attack or de- 
fense. (See Judg 5:8.) In the defenselessness of Naphtali 
— deserted by their brethren (see 5: 15-18) — hemmed in by 
the hosts of the Canaanites, they were indeed a picture of 
helplessness. Nevertheless, the hand of the oppressor was 
broken. God interposed, and Naphtali was ''set free/* and 
the exuberance of their consequent joy found expression 
in the Song of Deborah and Barak recorded in Judges 5. 
There were the ** goodly words" which Jacob had foretold. 
Thus Naphtali was a hind * * let loose ' ' in the double sense — 
*'sent forth" by Deborah and **set free'* from the yoke of 
the Canaanites by God ! 

But if this Tribe is interesting to us from its Old Testa- 
ment association, it has far deeper interest for us from its 
New Testament connections. Zebulun and Naphtali were 
closely linked together, yet each had a separate interest. 
The land of Zebulun provided a *' haven '* of rest for the 
Lord Jesus during the first thirty years that He tabernacled 
among men ; but it was in the bounds of Naphtali in the 
cities of Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin, and other places, 
that He went about doing good and ministering the Word 
of Life. In His preaching of the Gospel to the poor were 
the * ' goodly words ' * of which Jacob spoke ! 

''Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a 
well ; whose branches run over the wall : The archers have 
sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him. But 
his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were 
made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob (from 
thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel) ; even by the 
God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Al- 
mighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, 
blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts 
and of the womb. The blessings of thy father have pre- 
vailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the ut- 
most bound of the everlasting hills : they shall be on the 
head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that 
was separate from his brethren'' (Gen. 49 : 22-26). 

S38 Gleanings in Genesis 

These words of Jacob concerning Joseph are to be divided 
into two parts: what is said in verses 22 to 24 is mainly 
retrospective ; what is recorded in verses 25, 26 is prospec- 
tive. This appears from the change of tense: in the first 
part the verbs are in the past tense, in the second part they 
are in the future. As Jacob reviews the past he mentions 
three things in connection with his favorite son. Verse 22 
seems to view Joseph as a youth in his father's house, as 
an object of beauty, of tender care, and as well pleasing to 
his father's heart — all pictures under the beautiful figure 
of a "fruitful bough by a well." Next, Jacob refers to the 
bitter enmity and fierce hatred which were directed against 
him — ^the archers sorely grieved him ; they shot at him their 
cruel arrows, they vented upon him their unreasonable 
spite. But through it all Joseph was Divinely sustained. 
The arms of the Eternal God were beneath him, and the 
Angel of the Lord encamped round about him. ' ' His hands 
were made strong by the hands of the mighty Qod of 
Jacob. ' ' 

Some have experienced diflSculty with the wording of 
verse 24 ; even the translators do not appear to have been 
clear upon it. Inserting the word ' ' is " in italics the verse 
as it stands in the Authorized Version reads as though it 
were a prediction concerning Christ. But many other plain 
Scriptures show that this is a mistake. The Messiah was 
not **from" the Tribe of Joseph, but came of the Tribe of 
Judah, just as Messianic prophecy declared He should. The 
little word ' * is ' ' in italics should be omitted, and the verse 
punctuated thus — ^"His hands were made strong by the 
hands of the Mighty (One) of Jacob, from thence — the 
Shepherd, the Stone of Israel. " It was **from thence/' t. e., 
from the Shepherd and Stone of Israel, came all of Joseph 's 
strength and blessing. 

The prominent feature about this prophecy concerning 
Joseph is fruitfulnesSf and this received its fulfilment in the 
double Tribe which sprang from him — Ephraim and Manas- 
seh, like two branches out of the parent stem. Joseph 
received a double portion in the land, viz., the firstborn's 
'* birthright, " this being transferred to him from Reuben. 
(See 1 Chron. 5:1, 2.) So, too, shall it be in the Millen- 
nium. Concerning the coming Kingdom, of which Ezekiel's 
closing chapters treat, we read : ' ' Thus saith the Lord God, 
This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land 

Jacob's Prophecy, continued 339 

according to the twelve tribes of Israel : Joseph shall have 
two portions^' (Ez. 47 : 13) . It is noteworthy that * ' Ephra- 
im'' means '^ fruit fulness/^ and of Manasseh Jacob had pre- 
dicted, ' * Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the 
earth. ' ' Finally, it should be pointed out that Joshua was 
from one of the tribes which sprang from Joseph (Num. 
13 : 8), and in him Jacob's prophecy concerning his favorite 
son received its main fulfilment. 

' ' Benjamin shall raven as a wolf : in the morning he shall 
devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil'' 
(Oten. 49 : 27) . What a striking evidence is this of the com- 
plete setting aside of the natural man by Qtod 1 Surely it 
is clear that had Jacob followed the inclinations of his heart 
he would not have said this of Benjamin, his youngest and 
dearly loved son I But this divine prediction was unmis- 
takably fulfilled as the Scriptures which bear upon this tribe 
plainly show. 

Benjamin is here likened to a ''wolf," which is noted for 
its swiftness and ferocity. Benjamin was the fiercest and 
most warlike of the tribes. For illustrations, note the fol- 
lowing passages; Judges 19, and mark verse 16; 2 Sam. 
2:15, 16: "Then there arose and went over by number, 
twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth, the 
son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And they 
caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his 
sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together." 
(See also 1 Chron. 8 : 40 ; 12 : 2 ; 2 Chron. 17 : 17.) 

The heroes of this tribe were marked by fierceness and 
wolf-like treachery. Ehud was of this tribe. (Bead Judg. 
3: 15-22.) King Saul was a Benjaminite. (Bead 1 Sam. 
22:17-20.) Mark the wolf seizing the helpless sheep as 
recorded in 2 Samuel 4 : 1-6. Saul of Tarsus, who first per- 
secuted the Church, was also of this Tribe (Rom. 11 : 1). 

In closing our study of this remarkable prophecy from the 
dying Jacob, let us mark how everything good which he 
severally predicted of his sons finds its realization in the 
Lord Jesus. 

1. The prophecy concerning Reuben ((Jen. 44:3) re- 
minds us of the Excellency and Dignity of Christ's person: 
He is the ** Firstborn," in whom is "the excellency of dig- 
nity and the excellency of power." 

2. The prophecy concerning Simeon and Levi (49:5-7) 
may well speak to us of Christ on the Cross : then it was 

340 Gleanings in Genesis 

that ^'instruments of cruelty" were used against Him; 
Jacob says : * * my soul, come not thou into their secret * ' — 
he would have nothing to do with them : so on the Cross, 
Christ was forsaken by Ood and man; a ''curse" is here 
pronounced by Jacob upon them, as Christ, on the Cross, 
was "made a Curse for us." 

3. The prophecy concerning Simeon and Levi anticipated 
our Lord's Priesthood, for Levi became the priestly Tribe. 

4. The prophecy concerning Judah (49:8-12) pictures 
our Lord 's Kingship. 

5. The prophecy concerning Zebulun (49:13) looks at 
Christ as the great Bef uge and Haven of Best. 

6. The prophecy concerning Issachar (49:14, 15) pre- 
figures His lowly Service. 

7. The prophecy concerning Dan (49: 16-18) views Him 
as the Judge. 

8. The prophecy concerning Gad (49 : 19) announces His 
triumphant Resurrection. 

9. The prophecy concerning Asher (49: 20) looks at Him 
as the Bread of Life, the One who satisfies the hearts of His 

10. The prophecy concerning Naphtali (49:21) regards 
His as (Jod*s perfect Prophet, giving forth "goodly words." 

11. The prophecy concerning Joseph (49:22-26) fore- 
casts His Millennial reign. 

12. The prophecy concerning Benjamin (49 : 27) depicts 
Him as the terrible Warrior (Cf. Isa. 63: 1-3). 


Genesis 37 

In the first of our articles upon Jacob we called attention 
to the fact that each of the great Israelitish patriarchs illus* 
trated some basic spiritual truth and that the chronolog- 
ical order of their lives agrees with the doctrinal order of 
truth. In Abraham we have illustrated the doctrine of 
electiarif for he was singled out by God from all the heathen 
and chosen to be the head of the Jewish nation. In Isaac 
we have foreshadowed the doctrine of Divine sonship: 
Abram's firstborn, Ishmael, represents the man born after 
the flesh, the old nature ; but Isaac, bom by the miraculous 
power of God, tells of the new man, the spiritual nature. 
In Jacob we see exemplified the conflict between the two 
natures in the believer, and also Qtod^s gracious discipline 
which issued, slowly but surely, in the triumph of the spirit 
over the flesh. Joseph, typic^ly, speaks to us of heirship 
preceded by •'suffering,'* and points forward to the time 
when the sons and heirs shall reign together with Christ. 
There is thus a beautiful moral order in the several leading 
truths illustrated and personified by these men. And it 
should be observed that here, as in everything which per- 
tains to God's Word, its orderliness evidences its Divine 
Authorship ; everything is in its proper place. 

Joseph, then, speaks of heirship and, as another has beau- 
tifully expressed it, ' * And consistently with this, in Joseph, 
we get suffering before glories. • • • For while discipline 
attaches to us as children, sufferings go before us as heirs; 
and this gives us the distinction between Jacob and Joseph. 
It is discipline we see in Jacob, discipline leading him as a 
child, under the hand of the Father of his spirit, to a par- 
ticipation of God's holiness. It is sufferings, martyr- 
sufferings, sufferings for righteousness, we see in Joseph, 
marking his path to glories. And this is the crowning 
thing ! and thus it comes as the closing thing, in this won- 
drous book of Genesis — after this manner perfect in its 
structure, as it is truthful in its records. One moral after 
another is studied, one secret after another is revealed, in 
the artless family scenes which constitute its materials, and 
in them we learn our calling, the sources and the issues of 


342 Gleanings in Genesis 

our history, from our election to our inheritance" (Mr. J. 
G. BeUett). 

Joseph is the last of the saints which occupies a prominent 
IMwition in Genesis. In all there are seven — ^Adam, Abel, 
Noahy Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. More space is de- 
voted to the last of these seven than to any of the others. 
There are several reasons for this which appear on the 
surface. In the first place, the history of Joseph is the 
chief link which connects Exodus with (Genesis ; the earlier 
chapters of Exodus being unintelligible without the last 
ten chapters of Genesis. It is Joseph 's life which explains 
the remarkable development of the Hebrews from a mere 
handful of wandering shepherds to a numerous and settled 
colony in Egypt. But no doubt the chief reason why the 
life of Joseph is described with such fulness of detail is 
because almost everything in it typified something in con- 
nection with Christ But more of this later. 

''Joseph was the elder son of Rachel (30:24). Of his 
early life nothing is recorded. He could not have been more 
than five or six years old when his father left Mesopotamia. 
He was therefore the child of Jacob 's later life, and escaped 
all the sad experiences associated with the earlier years at 
Harau. He comes before us in this chapter {Oten. 37) at 
the age of seventeen. His companions were his half- 
brothers, the grown-up sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. From 
all that we have hitherto seen of them they must have been 
utterly unfit companions for such a youth. Jacob's elder 
sons had, naturally, been affected by the life in Haran, by 
the jealousy at home, and by the scheming between Laban 
and Jacob. They had been brought up under the influence 
of the old Jacob, while Joseph had been the companion of 
the changed Jacob or 'Israel.' There are few people more 
unfitted for influence over younger brothers than elder 
brothers of bad character." (Dr. G. Thomas.) 

' ' These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph being seven- 
teen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; 
and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons 
of Zilpah, his father 's wives : and Joseph brought unto his 
father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than 
all his children, because he was the son of his old age : and 
he made him a coat of many colors. And when his brethren 
saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, 

Joseph As a Youth 343 


they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him 

There are perhaps few portions of Holy Writ with which 
we are more familiar than the one now before us. From 
earliest childhood many of us have listened to this beautiful 
but pathetic narrative. The aged patriarch, his favorite 
son, the coat of many colors, Joseph's dreams, the envious 
brothers, their wicked conduct — all so true to life — ^have 
been indelibly impressed upon our memories since we first 
learned them on our mother 's knee, or from the lips of our 
Sunday School teacher. Many are the lessons which may 
be drawn, and pointed are the warnings which are found 
here. But we shall pass from these to something deeper 
and even more precious. 

As we read thoughtfully the books of the Old Testament 
our study of them is but superficial if they fail to show us 
that in divers ways and by various means Gk>d was pre- 
paring the way for the coming of His Son. The central 
purpose in the Divine Incarnation, the great outstanding 
object in the life and death of the Lord Jesus, were pre- 
figured beforehand, and ought to have been rendered fa- 
miliar to the minds of men. Among the means thus used 
of Gk>d was the history of different persons through whom 
the life and character of Christ were to a remarkable degree 
made manifest beforehand. Thus Adam represented His 
Headship, Abel His Death, Noah His Work in providing 
a refuge for His people. Melchizedek pointed to Him as 
priest, Moses as prophet, David as King. But the fullest 
and most striking of all these typical personage was Joseph, 
for between his history and that of Christ we may trace 
fully a hundred points of analogy! Others before us 
have written upon this captivating theme, and from their 
writings we shall draw freely in the course of these papers 
on the typical significance of Joseph 's history.* 

In the verses quoted above from Oenesis 37 there are seven 
points in which Joseph prefigured Christ, each of which is 
worthy of our attention, namely, the meaning of his name, 
the nature of his occupation, his opposition to evil, his fa- 
ther's love, his relation to his father's age, his coat of many 
colors, and the hatred of his brethren. Let us consider each 
of these in turn : 

*We take this occasion to aoknowledfe our indeMednou to Dr. HaldoiMUi 
and ICr. C. Knapp. 

344 Gleanings in Genesis 

1. The Meaning of his Name. It is most significant that 
our patriarch had two names — Joseph, and Zaphnath- 
paaneah (41 : 45) which the rabbins translate ^'Bevealer of 
secrets. ' ' This latter name was given to him by Pharaoh in 
acknowledgment of the Divine wisdom which was in him. 
Thus, Joseph may be said to be his human name and 
Zaphnath-paaneah his Divine name. So, also, the one whom 
Joseph foreshadowed has a double name — ''Jesus'' being 
His human name, ''Christ" signifying ''the Anointed" of 
Ood, or, again, we have his double name in "Son of Man" 
which speaks of His humanity, and "Son of God" which 
tells of His Deity. Let us note how the meaning of Joseph's 
names were typical in their significance. 

"Joseph" means adding (see 30:24). The first Adam 
was the great subtracter, the last Adam is the great Adder: 
through the one, men became lost; by the other, all who be- 
lieve are saved. Christ is the One who "adds" to Heaven's 
inhabitants. It was to this end that He came to this earth, 
tabernacled among men for more than thirty years, and 
then died on the Cross: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, 
except a com of wheat fall into the ground and die, it 
abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" 
(Jno. 12:24). The ultimate result of His Death will be 
* ' much fruit, ' ' and at His return this will be gathered into 
the Heavenly gamer (Jno. 14: 3). 

But Joseph's second name means "Bevealer of secrets." 
This was a most appropriate name. Bevealer of secrets 
Joseph ever was, not merely as an interpreter of dreams, 
but in every scene of his life, in every relation he sustained 
— when with his brethren in Potiphar 's household, in prison, 
or before Pharaoh — ^his words and his works ever tested 
those with whom he had to do, making manifest their secret 
condition. How strikingly this foreshadowed Christ, of 
whom it was said in the days of His infancy, ' ' Behold this 
Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel ; 
and for a sign which shall be spoken against * * * that 
the thoughts of many hearts may he revealed'^ (Lu. 2: 

In the incident now before us Joseph is seen as the Be- 
vealer of secrets in a double way. First, he revealed his fa- 
ther's heart, for he is here seen as the special object on 
which Jacob 's affections were centered. Second, he revealed 
the hearts of his brethren by making manifest their wicked 

Joseph As a Youth S45 

''hatred.'* In like manner, our blessed Saviour revealed 
the Father's heart, *'No man hath seen God at any time; 
the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, 
He hath declared Him^' (Jno. 1 : 18). And in like manner, 
the Lord Jesus also revealed what was in the hearts of men. 
One of the most striking and prominent features presented 
in the four Gk)spels is the fact that everywhere He went 
the Lord Jesus exposed all. He made manifest the secret 
condition of all with whom He came into contact. He was 
truly "the Light of the world,'* shining in '*a dark place '^ 
— detecting, displaying, uncovering, bringing to light the 
hidden things of darkness. Well, then, was Joseph named 
the one who added, and the one that revealed. 

2. By Occupation Joseph was a Shepherd, ** feeding the 
flock." This is one of the prominent lines which is found 
running through several of the Old Testament typical per- 
sonages. Abel, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, were each of 
them ** shepherds, " and a close study of what is recorded 
of each one in this particular relation will reveal that each 
pointed forward to some separate and distinctive aspect of 
our Lord's Shepherdhood. No figure of Christ is more 
beautiful than this: our favorite Psalm (the twenty-third) 
presents Him in this character. One of our earliest concep- 
tions of the Saviour, as children, was as the Good Shepherd. 
The figure suggests His watchful care, His unwearied de- 
votion, His tender solicitude. His blessed patience, His pro- 
tecting grace, His matchless love in giving His life for the 
sheep. Above, Joseph is seen * * feeding the flock, ' ' pointing 
to the earthly ministry of Christ who, sent unto **the lost 
sheep of the House of Israel," spent Himself in tending 
the needs of others. 

3. His Opposition to Evil. *'And Joseph brought unto 
his father their evil report." It is truly pathetic to flnd 
how this action of Joseph has been made an occasion for 
debate, some arguing that in doing what he did Joseph 
acted wrongly; others defending him. But it is not as a 
tale bearer that Joseph is here viewed, rather is he seen as 
the truth-speaker. Not by cowardly silence would he be the 
accomplice of their evil-doing. And here too we may dis- 
cern a clear foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ. We 
will quote but one verse, but it is sufficient to establish the 
type : * ' The world cannot hate you ; but Me it hateth, be- 

346 Gleanings in Genesis 

cause / testify of it that the works thereof are eviV* (Jno. 

4. His Father ^s Love. '' Israel loved Joseph more than 
all his brethren. '* This is one of the lines which stands out 
most distinctly in this lovely Old Testament picture. How 
Jacob loved Joseph ! His mark of special esteem in making 
for him the coat of many colors: his unconsolable grief 
when he believed that Joseph had been devoured by beasts ; 
his taking of that long journey into Egypt that he might 
again look upon his favorite son ere death overtook him — 
all tell out the deep love of Jacob for Joseph. And how all 
this speaks to us of the Father's love for His only begotten 
Son! Through Solomon the Spirit of prophecy, speaking 
of the relation which existed between the Father and the 
Son in a past eternity, said, ' * The Lord possessed Me in the 
beginning of His way before His works of old ; ' ' and again, 
**Then I was by Him, as One brought up with Him, and I 
was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him" (Prov. 
8:22, 30). How sweetly was this illustrated by Jacob's 
love for Joseph! Again, when the Son of Gk)^I became 
incarnate, and was about to begin His public ministry, the 
heavens were opened and the Voice of the Father was heard 
saying, ''This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well 
pleased" (Mat. 3 : 17). So, also, when His public ministiy 
neared its close, once more the Father's Voice was heard, 
upon the Mount of Transfiguration, saying, "This is My 
ieloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him" 
(Mat. 17: 5). The Son, too, affirmed the Father's love for 
Himself — ^"Therefore doth My Father love me, because I 
lay down My life, that I might take it again" (Jno. 10: 17). 
And when the Son had finished the Work given Him to do, 
when He had laid down His life and had risen again from 
the dead, the Father displayed His love by removing Him 
from the scenes of His sufferings and shame, ''Wherefore 
God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name 
which is above every name" (Phil. 2:9). And not only did 
God highly exalt His blessed Son, but He also seated Him 
upon His own throne (Rev. 3: 21), that during these cen- 
turies when the Church is being built Christ might he near 
to the Father I 

5. His Relation to his father's Age. "He was the son of 
his old age." No line in this picture is without its own 
meaning — ^how could it be, when none other than the Spirit 

Joseph As a Youth S47 

of Grod drew it ! Every word here is profoundly significant. 
We quote from the words of another : ' ' Old age, translated 
into spiritual language and applied to Gk)d, signifies 'eter- 
nity/ Jesus Christ was the Son of Ood's eternity. From 
all eternity He was Gk>d's Son. He was not derived. He was 
eternally begotten ; He is God of Gk)d, very God of very God, 
equal with, and of the same substance as, the Father. ' ' As 
the opening verse of John's Gkxspel declares, ''/n the begin- 
ning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the 
Word was God." And again, in His high-priestly prayer 
the Lord Jesus said, ' * And now, Father, glorify thou Me 
with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee 
before the world was^' ( Jno. 17 : 5) . The Lord Jesus Christ 
is no creature. He is Creator (Jno. 1:3); He is no mere 
emanation of Deity, He is the One in whom dwelleth ''all 
the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). He is far 
more than a manifestation of God, He is Himself "God 
manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim. 3: 16). He is not a person 
who had His beginning in time, but is Eternal in His being ; 
as the true rendering of Micah 5 : 2 declares, the One who 
was bom in Bethlehem of Judea was none other than He 
''whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of 
Eternity.^ ^ Christ then was, in the language of our type 
"the Son of (His Father's) old age'* — ^the eternal Son of 

6. His Coat of Many Colors. Thus far the interpreting 
of the type has been simple, but here, we encounter that 
which is not quite so easy. How gracious of Qod for pro- 
viding us with help on this point ! We are not left to our 
own imaginations to guess at the meaning of the many col- 
ored coat. No ; guesswork is not only vain, but altogether 
needless in regard to (Jod's blessed Word. Scripture is 
its own interpreter. In Judges 5 : 30, we read, ' ' Have they 
not sped ? have they not divided the prey ; to every man a 
damsel or two ; to Sisera a prey of divers colors, a prey of 
divers colors of needlework, of divers colors on both sides, 
meet for the necks of them that take the spoil f" Here we 
learn that such garments were to be worn as a mark of dis- 
tinction. Again in 2 Samuel 13 : 18 we read, "And she had 
a garment of divers colors upon her : for with such robes 
were the King's daughters that were virgins apparelled." 
Here again we get the same thought : This was the attire of 
unmarried princesses ; it was a mark of honor, singling out 

348 Gleanings in Genesis 

the wearer as one of noble birth. This, no doubt, was 
Jacob's object to distinguish Joseph (bom of Rachel) from 
his half brothers (bom of the slave-wives). 

How appropriate was this as an adumbration of Christ ! 
He, too, was marked off from all His brethren according to 
the flesh, marked off as one of noble birth, marked off by 
outward signs of peculiar distinction and honor. It is 
blessed to behold what care and pains God took to manifest 
this coat of many colors, in connection with His blessed 
Son. The ** virgin V Babe was distinguished from all 
others bom by the Angelic Song o 'er Bethlehem's plains — 
none other was ever welcomed thus by the Heavenly hosts ! 
So, too, the ''star" that appeared to the wise men gave 
evidence of the Heavenly Origin of the new-bom King. At 
His baptism we see again the many-colored coat: multi- 
tudes presented themselves to John at the river Jordan and 
were baptized of him ; but when the Christ of Gk>d came up 
out of the waters, the Heavens were opened and the Spirit 
of God descended upon Him in the form of a dove, thus 
distinguishing Christ from all others! Behold again the 
coat of many colors in John 12. In John 13 the feet of the 
disciples (pointing to their walk) are defiled, and need to 
be washed with water (type of Word) ; but in the previous 
chapter (for in all things Christ must have the preeminence) 
we see the feet of our blessed Lord, not washed with water 
(for there was no defilement in Him), but anointed with 
precious ointment, the fragrance of which filled the house, 
telling that the walk of Him (as well as His blessed person) 
was a sweet smelling savor to the Father. Thus again was 
Christ distinguished from and elevated above all others. 
So, too, at the Cross, the distinguishing coat of many colors 
may be seen. In death, as everywhere. His uniqueness was 
manifested. He died as none other ever died or could : He 
*'laid down His life.'* And the uniqueness of His death 
was divinely attested in the supernatural phenomena that 
accompanied it : the three hours darkness, the quaking of 
the earth, and the rending of the veil. The ^^many colors'' 
of the coat also speak to us of Christ's varied glories and 
infinite perfections. 

7. The Hatred of his Brethren. **They hated him and 
could not speak peaceably to him." It was Jacob's love 
which brought out the heart 's enmity of these men. Joseph 
then, made manifest both his father's love and his breth- 

Joseph As a Youth S49 

ren's hatred. So when Christ came to the earth He did 
these two things. He revealed the Father's heart and He 
exposed man's enmity. And one of two things always fol- 
lowed: either men hated Him for exposing them, or they 
accepted snch exposure and took refuge in the Grace which 
He revealed. When Christ exposed the hypocrisy of the 
Pharisees th^ hated Him; but when He exposed to the 
woman at the well her sinful life and condition, she wel- 
comed it, and availed herself of God's grace. So it is now : 
those who hear the truth of God faithfully preached, the 
lost and guilty condition of the natural man fearlessly pro- 
claimed, either they hate it, and seek to hide behind the 
filthy rags of their own self-righteousness, or they come out 
into the light, bow to God's verdict, and casting themselves 
in the dust before Him as Hell-deserving sinners, believe in 
the Saviour which the Gospel makes known. In which class 
are you found, dear reader f Are you, like the brethren of 
Joseph who hated the son of the father's love, ''despising 
and rejecting" Christ T Friend, make no mistake here. 
You either love or you hate the Lord Jesus Christ ! and it is 
written, ''If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him 
he accursed^' (1 Cor. 16:22). hee4 now this solemn 
admonition of God, "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and 
ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a 
little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him^' 

Before we turn to consider the special subject of this bx^ 
tide we must first notice three or four points in the first 
eleven verses of Genesis 37 which, through lack of space, we 
omitted from our last. 

"And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his breth- 
ren : and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto 
them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed : 
For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo^ 
my sheaf arose, and also stood upright ; and, behold, your 
sheaves stood around about, and made obeisance to my 
sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed 
reign over us ? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us 1 
And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his 
words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his 
brethren, and said. Behold, I have dreamed a dream more ; 
and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars 
made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to 

350 Gleanings in Genesis 

brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto 
him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed f Shall I 
and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down 
ourselves to thee to the earth T And his brethren envied 
him; but his father observed the saying" (verses 5*11). 
Continuing our numeration we may note : 

8. Joseph %8 hated because of his Words. There are two 
lines which are, perhaps, made more prominent than others 
in this first typical picture : the lov^i of Jacob for his son, 
and the hatred of the brethren. Three times over within 
the compass of these few verses reference is made to the 
*' hatred" of Joseph's brethren. In verse 4 we read, **they 
hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him." 
Again, in verse 5 we are told, * * and they hated him yet the 
more/' And again in verse 8: ''And they hated him yet 
the more for his dreams and for his words." It will be 
seen from these references there was a twofold occasion for 
their wicked enmity. First, they hated Joseph's person, 
because of Jacob 's special love for him ; second, they hated 
him because of ^^his words.*' They hated him because of 
what he was, and also because of what he said. Thus it was, 
too, with the One whom Joseph typified. 

As we turn to the four Oospels it will be found that those 
who were our Lord's brethren according to the flesh hated 
Him in this same twofold way. They hated Him because 
He was the beloved Son of the Father, and they also hated 
Him because of His teaching. As illustrations of the former 
we may note the following passages: ''Therefore the Jews 
sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken 
the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making 
Himself equal with God" (Jno. 5:18). "The Jews then 
murmured at Him, because He said, I am the Bread which 
came down from heaven" (Jno. 6: 41). "I and My Father 
are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him'' 
(Jno. 10 : 30, 31 ) . Such was their wicked hostility against 
His person. And it was just the same, too, in regard to His 
teaching: "And all they in the synagogue when they heard 
these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust 
Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hiU 
whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down 
headlong" (Lu. 4:28, 29). "The world cannot hate you; 
but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works 
thereof are evil" (Jno. 7:7). "But now ye seek to kill Me, 

Joseph As a Youth S51 

a man that hatii iold you the truth, which I have heard of 
God'' (Jno.8:40). 

9. Joseph was to enjoy a remarkable future. These 
dreams of Joseph intimated that this favored son of Jacob 
was the subject of high destinies: they were Divine an- 
nouncements of his future exaltation. There can be little 
doubt that Jacob and his sons perceived that these dreams 
were prophetic^ otherwise the brethren would have regarded 
them as ''idle tales," instead of being angered by them. 
Note, too, that ''his father observed the saying" (verse 11). 

So, too, of th« Antitype. A remarkable future was prom- 
ised to the One who first api>eared in lowliness and shame. 
Concerning the Child that was to be bom unto Israel, the . 
Son given, it was pre-announced : "The government shall 
be upon His shoulder : and His name shall be called Won- 
derful, Counsellor, the mighty Ood, the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government 
and peace there shall be no end'' (Isa. 9:6, 7). To his 
mother the angel declared, ' ' Behold, thou shalt conceive in 
thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name 
Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the 
Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne 
of His father David ; and He shall reign over the House of 
Jacob for ever : and of His kingdom there shall be no end " 
(Lu. 1: 31-33). That Joseph's Antitype was to enjoy a re- 
markable future was thus intimated beforehand. 

10. Joseph foretold his future Sovereignty. It is worthy 
of notice liiat the two recorded dreams of Joseph contem- 
plated a double sovereignty : the first dream concerned "the 
field, ' ' which pointed to the earthly dominion of our Lord ; 
but the second dream was occupied with the sun, the moon 
and the stars, and tells, in type, of the Heavenly dominion 
of Christ, for all power (or authority) has been given to 
Him in heaven and on earth. 

Joseph's announcement of his future exaltation only 
served to fan the fires of enmity, and gave intensity to his 
brethren's hatred. And so it was with the Saviour. The 
more our Lord unfolded the glory of His person, the more 
He spoke of His future exaltation, the more did the Jews — 
His brethren according to the flesh — ^hate Him. The climax 
of this is to be seen in Matthew 26: 64: "Nevertheless, I 
say unto you. Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting 
on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of 

352 Gleanings in Genesis 

heaven." Here was the announcement of His future sov- 
ereignty, and mark the immediate effects of His words on 
those that heard Him: ^^Then the high priest rent his 
clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy/^ 

11. Joseph was envied hy his brethren. ' * When his breth- 
ren saw that their father loved him more than all his breth- 
ren, they hated him" (verse 4). In these words are found 
the key to what followed. That which was the prime cause 
of the brethren's hatred was envy: as verse 11 tells us, 
** And his brethren envied him." They were jealous of the 
partiality shown by Jacob to their half-brother. This is a 
sin which has characterized human nature all down the 
ages: the difference between envy and covetousness is this 
— ^we envy persons, we covet things. 

Here, too the type holds good. Christ was "envied" by 
those who were His brethren, according to the flesh. This 
comes out in His parable of the Wicked Husbandman, 
'* Having yet therefore one son, His well-beloved. He sent 
Him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence My 
Son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This 
is the Heir ; come, let us kill Him, and the inheritance shall 
be ours" (Mk. 12 : 6, 7). Again, **For this cause the people 
also met Him, for that they heard that He had done this 
miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, 
Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is 
gone after Him^' (Jno. 12:18, 19). How that utterance 
manifested the jealousy of their hearts ! But even plainer 
is the testimony of Matthew 27 : 17, 18, for there the very 
word "envy" is found, "Therefore when they were gath- 
ered together, Pilate said unto them. Whom will ye that I 
release unto you T Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ f 
For he knew that for envy they had delivered Him." In 
our next we shall consider, Joseph betrayed by his brethren. 



Genesis 37 

''And his brethren went to feed their father's flock In 
Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren 
feed the flock in Shechem f Come, I will send thee unto 
them. And he said to him, Here am I" (37 : 12, 13). 

12. Joseph sent forth hy his father. The verses just 
quoted above introduce to us the second of these marvelous 
typical scenes in which Joseph shadows forth the Lord 
Jesus. Here the brethren of Joseph are seen away from 
their father. Jacob says to his beloved son, ' ' Come, and I 
will send thee unto them." How this reveals the heart of 
Jacob to us. He was not indifferent to their welfare. Ab* 
sent from the father's house as they were, Jacob is con- 
cerned for the welfare of these brethren of Joseph. He, 
therefore, proposes to send his well beloved son on an errand 
of mercy, seeking their good. And is it not beautiful to 
mark the promptness of Joseph's response! There was no 
hesitancy, no unwillingness, no proffering of excuses, but a 
blessed readiness to do his father's will, ' ' Here am I. " 

One cannot read of what passed here between Jacob and 
Joseph without seeing that behind the historical narrative 
we are carried back to a point before time began, into the 
eternal counsels of the Godhead, and that we are permitted 
to learn something of what passed between the Father and 
the Son in the remote past. As the Lord God with Divine 
omniscience foresaw the fall of man, and the alienation of 
the race from Himself, out of the marvelous grace of His 
heart. He proposed that His beloved Son should go forth on 
a mission of mercy, seeking those who were away from the 
Father 's House. Hence we read so often of the Son being 
sent by the Father, ** Herein is love, not that we loved God, 
but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitia- 
tion for our sins" (1 Jno. 4 : 10) . And blessed it is to know 
that the Beloved of the Father came forth on His errand of 
love, freely, willingly, gladly. Like Joseph, He, too, 
promptly responded, * * Here am I. " As it is written of Him 
in Hebrew 10 : 7, * * Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of 
the book it is written of Me) to do Thy willy God." 


354 Gleanings in Genesis 

13. Joseph seeks the welfare of his brethren. **^d he 
said to him, Oo, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy 
brethren, and well with the flocks, and bring me word 
again" (37: 14). Joseph could not have been ignorant of 
his brethren's *'envy"; he must have known how they 
''hated" him; and in view of this, one had not been sur- 
prised to find him unwilling to depart on such a thankless 
errand. But with gracious magnanimity and filial fear he 
stood ready to depart on the proposed mission. 

Two things are to be particularly observed here as bring- 
ing out the striking accuracy of this lype: First, Joseph 
is sent forth with a definite object before him — ^to seek his 
brethren. When we turn to the Gospels we find the cor- 
respondence is perfect. When the Beloved of the Father 
visited this world, His earthly mission was restricted to 
His brethren according to the flesh. As we read in John 1 : 
11, ''He came unto His own, and His own received Him 
not ' ' : His ' ' own ' ' here refers to His own people, the Jews. 
Again, in Matt. 15 : 24, it is recorded that the Lord Jesus 
Himself expressly declared, "I am not sent but unto the 
lost sheep of the House of Israel. ' ' And again, in Rom. 15 : 
8, we are told, ' ' Now I say that Jesus Christ was a Minister 
of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the 
promises made unto the fathers." 

In the second place, observe the character of Joseph's 
mission : said Jacob, ' ' Gk>, I pray thee, see whether it be weU 
with thy brethren. ' ' He was sent not to censure them, but 
to inquire after their welfare. So, again, it was with the 
Lord Jesus Christ. As we read in John 3 : 17, " For God 
sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world ; but 
that the world through Him might be saved." 

14. Joseph was sent forth from the vale of Hebron: *'So 
he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to 
Shechem" (37 : 14) . There is no line in this lovely picture, 
drawn by the Spirit of Gtod, which is without its own dis- 
tinctive significance. We quote here from the well chosen 
words of Mr. C. Knapp: "Hebron means fellowship or 
communion. The vale suggests quiet peacefulness and rest. 
It was intended, I believe, to point them forward (and point 
us back) to the fellowship of the Son with the Father in 
heaven's eternal calm and peace previous to His entrance, 
at His incarnation, into this scene of sin and toil and sor- 
row" (A Fruitful Bough). 

Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren S55 

The peaeefal vale of Hebron, then, was the place where 
Joseph dwelt in happy fellowship with his father ; there he 
was at home, known, loved, understood. But from this he 
was sent to a place characterized by strife and blood-shed- 
ding, unto those who appreciated him not, yea, to those who 
envied and hated him. Faintly but accurately this tells of 
the love-passing-knowledge which caused the Lord of Glory 
to leave His Home above and descend to a hostile realm 
where they hated Him without a cause. 

15. Joseph came to Shechem (37:14). The word ^'She- 
chem" means '^Shoulder," being taken from ''the position 
of the place on the 'saddle' or 'shoulder' of the heights 
which divide the waters there that flow to the Mediterra- 
nean on the west and to the Jordan on the east" (Smith's 
Bible Dictionary). The meaning of this name conforms 
strictly to the Antitype. The ' * shoulder' ' speaks of burden* 
bearing and suggests the thought of service and subjection. 
The moral meaning of the term is Divinely defined for us 
in this very book of Oenesis — ^"and bowed his shoulder to 
bear and become a servant unto tribute" (49:15). How 
striking it is to read, then, that on leaving his father in the 
vale of Hebron, Joseph came to Shechem. How marvelously 
this foreshadowed the place which the Lord of Glory took I 
Leaving His peaceful place on high, and coming down to 
this scene of sin and suffering. He took the Servant's place, 
the place of submission and subjection. As we read in 
Phil. 2: 6, 7, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it 
not robbery to be equal with God : but made Himself of no 
reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant/' 
And again in Gal. 4:4, "When the fulness of time was 
come, Qod sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made 
under the law.*' Verily, "Shechem" was the place that the 
Beloved of the Father came to. 

Moreover, is it not significant that Shechem has been 
mentioned before in the (Genesis narrative — see 34 : 25-30 — 
especially when we note what occurred there. Shechem was 
the place of sin and sorrow, of evil passions and blood- 
shedding. Little wonder that Jacob was anxious about his 
sons in such a place, and that he sent Joseph to them there 
to inquire after their welfare. And how what we read of 
in Qen. 34 well depicts in terse but solemn summary the 
history of this earth. How aptly and how accurately the 
scene there portrayed exhibited the character of the place 

356 Gleanings in Genesis 

into which the Lord Jesus came. The place which He took 
was that of the Servant ; the scene into which He came was 
one of sin and strife and suffering. 

16. Joseph now became a Wanderer in the field. ^'And 
a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in 
the field: and the man asked him: saying. What seekest 
thouf And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray 
thee, where they feed their flocks" (37 : 15, 16). In His in- 
terpretation of the Parable of the Tares, the Lord Jesus said, 
''the field is the worW (Matt. 13 :38). Like Joseph, the Be- 
loved of the Father became a Wanderer ^ a homeless Stranger 
in this world. The foxes had holes, and the birds of the air 
had their nests, but the Son of man had not where to lay his 
head. What a touching word is that in John's Gospel, 
•'And every man went unto his own house: Jesus went 
unto the Mount of Olives ' ' (John 7 : 53 ; 8:1). Every other 
man had his own house to which he could go, but the Lord 
Jesus, the homeless Wanderer here, must retire to the bleak 
mountain side. O my soul, bow in wonderment before that 
matchless grace which causes thy Saviour who, though He 
was rich, yet He for our sakes became poor, that we through 
His poverty might be rich ! 

17. Joseph seeks until he finds his brethren. "And the 
man said, They are departed hence ; for I heard them say, 
Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren 
and found them in Dotham ' ' (37 : 17 ) . When Joseph arrived 
at Shechem he found his brethren gone; they were not 
there. ' ' Now is his chance to return to Hebron if his heart 
is not wholly in his mission. Here he has given him a good 
excuse for turning back and giving up the undertaking. But 
no ; he has no thought of turning back, or giving up the work 
given him of his father to do'* (Mr. K.). Thus it was with 
that blessed One whom Joseph foreshadowed. From start 
to finish we find Him prompted by unswerving devotion to 
His Father and unwearied love toward His lost sheep, con- 
tinuing the painful search until He found them. No seem- 
ing failure in His mission, no lack of appreciation in those 
to whom He ministered, daunted Him. Man might despise 
and reject Him, those nearest might deem Him "beside 
Himself*'; Peter might cry, "Spare Thyself,'' yet none 
of these things turned Him aside from going about His 
Father 's business I A work had been given Him to do, and 
He would not rest till it was "finished." 

Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 357 

^ * And Joseph went after his brethren. ' ' How these words 
gather up into a brief sentence the whole story recorded in 
the four Oospels ! As the Redeemer went about from place 
to place, one end only was in view — He was going after His 
brethren. He enters the synagogue and reads from the 
prophet Isaiahy and with what object? That His brethren 
might be reached. He walks by the Sea of Oalilee, seeking 
out those who should walk with Him for a season. He 
must needs go through Samaria we read; and why? Be 
cause there were some of His ** brethren'* in that place. 
Yes, the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was 
lost. And, my Christian reader, of what do these words re- 
mind you, ** Joseph went after his brethren?*' Ah, how 
patiently and untiringly that One of whom Joseph was but 
a type *'went after** yout How many years His unwearied 
love pursued you ; pursued you over the mountains of im- 
belief and across the precipices of sin! All praise to His 
marvelous grace. 

*'And found them in Dothan.*' Dr. Haldeman tells us 
that *' Dothan** signifies **Law or Custom.** **And it was 
there Jesus found His brethren, dwelling under the bondage 
of the Law, and slaves to mere religious formalism. * * Yes, 
the Law of Jehovah had degenerated into the ** customs** 
of the Pharisees, ''Laying aside the commandments of Ood, 
ye hold the traditions of men** (Mark 9:8), was our Lord*s 
charge against them. 

18. Joseph conspired against, *' And when they saw him 
afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired 
against him to slay him** (37:18). The hatred of the 
brethren found opportunity in the love that sought them. 
It is striking to notice how that a conspiracy was formed 
against Joseph ** before he drew near unto them.** How 
this reminds us of what happened during the days of our 
Saviour *s infancy. No sooner was He bom into this world 
than the enmity of the carnal mind against God displayed 
itself ! A horrible * * conspiracy * * was hatched by Herod in 
the attempt to slay the newly born Saviour. This was in 
the days when He was **afar off.** Thirty years before He 
presented Himself publicly to the Jews. The same thing is 
found again and again during the days of His public minis- 
try. **Then the Pharisees went out and held a council 
again Him, how they might destroy Him** (Matt. 12:14), 
may be cited as a sample. 

S58 Gleanings in Genesis 

19. Joseph's words disbelieved. ''And they said one to 
another, Behold this dreamer cometh. Come now, there- 
fore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and 
we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him; and we 
shall see what will become of his dreams" (37:19, 20). 
The prophetic announcement of Joseph seemed unto his 
brethren as idle tales. They not only hated him, but they 
refused to believe what he had said. Their scepticism 
comes out plainly in the wicked proposal, ' ' Let us sUy him 
.... and we shall see what will become of his dreams." 
Thus it was with the Christ of Ood. After He had been 
nailed to the cross, ''they that passed by reviled Him, 
wagging their heads, and saying. Thou that destroyed the 
temple and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. // 
Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Like- 
wise, also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes 
and elders, said, He saved others ; Himself He cannot save. 
If He be llie King of Israel, let Him now come down from 
the cross. And we wUl believe Him" — ^which was an admis- 
sion that they did not believe. The Jews believed Him not 
His teaching was nothing more to them than empty dreams. 
So, too, after His death and burial. ' ' The chief priests and 
Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we re- 
member that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, 
After three days I will rise again. Command therefore, 
that the sepulchre be made sure" (Matt. 27). When the 
stone was sealed and the watch was set, the sceptical Phari- 
sees were but saying in effect, ' ' We shall see what will be- 
come of His dreams." 

And is it any different now in modem Christendom t 
How do men and women today treat the words of the Faith- 
ful and True Witness 1 Do those who listen to the Oospel 
give credence to what they hear f Do they set to their seal 
that Ood is true 1 Do they really believe as true the Lord 's 
own words, '*He that believeth not is condemned already" 
(John 3: 18) 1 Ah, unsaved reader, dost thou believe that, 
that even now the condemnation of a Holy Ood is resting 
upon theef You do not have to wait until the last great 
day; you do not have to wait until the judgment of the 
great white throne. No; Ood's condemnation rest upon 
thee now. Unspeakably solemn is this. And there is but 
one way of deliverance. There was but one way of escape 
for Noah and his family from the flood, and that was to seek 

Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 359 

refage in the Ark. And there is but one way of escape from 
€kxl 's condemnation for you^ and that is, to flee to Christ, 
who was Himself condemned in the stead of all who believe 
on Him. Again: He who was truth incarnate declared, 
''He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the 
wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). O unsaved 
friend, if you really believed these words of Him who can« 
not lie you would not delay another moment. You would 
not dare to procrastinate any longer. Even now, you would 
cast yourself at His feet, just as you are, as a poor needy 
and guilly sinner, receiving Him by faith as your own 
Saviour. Treat not, we beseech you, tiiese words of the Son 
of Qod as idle tales, but believe them to the saving of your 

20. Joseph is insulted. ''And it came to pass, when 
Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped 
Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on 
him" (37: 23). How this brings out the wicked hatred of 
these men for the one who had come seeking only their 
welfare. Like beasts of prey they immediately spring upon 
him. It was not enough to injure him; they must insult 
him too. They put him to an open shame by stripping him 
of his coat of many colors. And how solemnly this agrees 
with the Antitype. In a similar manner the Lord of Olory 
was dealt with. He, too, was insulted, and put to shame: 
"Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the 
common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of 
soldiers. And they stripped Him" (Matt. 27:27, 28). 
The same horrible ignominy is witnessed again at the Cross : 
"Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus, took His 
garments*' (John 19:23). 

21. Joseph is cast into a pit. "And they took him, and 
cast him into a pit ; and the pit was empty, there was no 
water in it" (37 : 24) . We quote now from Dr. Haldeman : 
"The pit wherein is no water, is another name for Hades, 
the underworld, the abode of the disembodied dead : of all 
the dead before the resurrection of Christ. ' The pit where- 
in is no water' (Zech. 9:11). 'For as Jonah was three 
days and three nights in the whale 's belly, so shall the Son 
of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the 
earth' (Matt. 12:40). It was here our Lord, as to His 
Soul, abode between death and resurrection.' ' 

__ J 

S60 Gleanings in Genesis 

22. Joseph was taken out of the pit, alive, in his body, 
''Andthey lifted up Joseph out of the pit*' (37:28). "'The 
actual order of the occurrence is that Joseph was first cast 
into the pit and then sold ; but the moral order of the type 
is not deranged by the fact ; it is in the light of the Anti- 
typical history that we make the type to be verified, as well 
as to verify it. The lifting out of the pit is one of those 
Divine anticipations of the resurrection scattered all 
through the Old Testament from Gtenesis to Malachi'* 

23. Joseph's brethren mingle Hypocrisy with their 

Hatred. ^ ' And they sat down to eat bread And Judah 

said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our 
brother and conceal his blood f Come, and let us sell him 
to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him ; for 
he is our brother and our flesh" (37: 27). First, notice the 
opening words of verse 25, ''And they sat down to eat 
bread," and this, while Joseph was helpless in the pit! 
How this reminds us of Matt. 27 : 35, 36 — '* And they cruci 
fied Him And sitting down they watched Him there ! 

But mark now this hypocrisy: '*Come, and let us sell 
him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him." 
The parallel to this is found in John 18 : * ' Then led they 
Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment ; and it was 
early ; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, 
lest they should he defied*^ (verse 28). Such deceptions 
will men practice upon themselves. And again, how re- 
markable, in this connection, are the words found in John 
18 : 31 : * ' Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye Him and 
judge Him according to your law. The Jews therefore 
said unto him. It is not lawful for us to put any man to 

24. Joseph is sold. ''They drew and lifted up Joseph 
out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites" (37 : 28). 
Is it not exceedingly striking to note that from among the 
twelve sons of Jacob Judah should be the one to make this 
horrible bargain, just as from the twelve apostles Judas 
(the Anglecized form of the Greek equivalent) was the 
one to sell the Lord ! 

25. Joseph's hlood-sprinkled coat is presented to his 
father. ''And they took Joseph's coat and killed a kid of 


Joseph Betrayed by His Brethren 361 

the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood ; and they sent 
the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their 
father. ' ' * * The anticipation of the type is self evident. The 
blood of Jesus Christ as the blood of a scapegoat, a sin 
offering, was presented to the Father '* (Dr. H.). In our 
next, D. v., we shall consider Joseph in Egypt. 


Genesis 39, 40 

Qenesis 37 closes with an account of Jacobus sons selling 
their brother Joseph unto the Midianites, and they, in turn 
selling him into Egypt. This speaks, in type, of Christ 
being rejected by Israel, and delivered unto the Gentiles. 
From the time Ihat the Jewish leaders delivered their 
Messiah into the hands of Pilate they have, as a nation, had 
no further dealings with Him; and Ood, too, has turned 
from them to the Qentilcs. Hence it is that there is an im- 
portant turn in our type at this stage. Joseph is now seen 
in the hands of the Oentiles. But before we are told what 
happened to Joseph in Egypt, the Holy Spirit traces for 
us, in typical outline, the history of the Jews, while the 
antitjrpical Joseph is absent from the land. This is found 
in Qen. 38. 

It is remarkable that Oen. 38 records the history of 
Juddh, for long before the Messiah was rejected hy the Jews, 
Israel (the ten tribes) had ceased to have a separate his- 
tory. Here, then, Judah foreshadows the history of the 
Jews since their rejection of Christ. ''And Judah saw 
there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was 
Shuah; and he took her, and went in to her" (Oen. 38. 2). 
How striking this is! ''Canaanite" signifies "the mer- 
chantman," and "Shuah" means "riches." How plainly 
the meaning of these names give us the leading character- 
istics of the Jews during the centuries from the Cross ! No 
longer are they the settled husbandmen and quiet shtphards 
as of old ; but, instead, travelling merchants. And ' ' riches ' ' 
has been their great pursuit. Three sons were bom to 
Judah by Shuah, and the "Numerical Bible" suggests as 
the meaning of their names: "Er"— €nmi7j// "Onan" — 
iniquity; "Shelah" — sprout. Deeply significant, too, are 
these names. ' ' Enmity ' ' against Christ is what has marked 
the Jews all' through the centuries of this Christian era. 
"Iniquity" surely fits this avaricious people, the average 
merchant of whom is noted for dishonesty, lying and cheat- 
ing. While "sprout" well describes the feeble life of this 
nation, so marvellously preserved by God through innumer- 
able trials and persecutions. The chapter terminates with 
the sordid story of Tamar, the closing portions of which 


Joseph in Egypt S6S 

obviously foreshadowing the end-time conditions of the 
Jews. In the time of her iravaU * * twins were in her womb ' ' 
(38:27). So in the tribulation period there shall be two 
companies in Israel. The firsts appropriately named 
^'Pharez," which means ^'breach/' speaking of the major- 
ity of the nation who will break completely with Qod and 
receive and worship the Antichrist. The second, ^'Zerah/' 
that had the ''scarlet thread" upon his hand (38:30), 
pointing to the godly remnant who will be saved, as was 
Bahab of old by the ''scarlet cord." But we must turn 
now to Oen. 39. 

(Genesis 39 is more than a continuation of what has been 
before us in Gen. 21, being separated, as it is, from that 
chapter by what is recorded in 38. (Genesis in 39 is really 
a new heginning in the tyi>e9 taking us back to the Incarna- 
tion, and tracing the experiences of the Lord Jesus from 
another angle. Continuing our enumeration (see previous 
article), we may observe: 

26. Joseph becomes a Servant. 

"And Joseph was brought down to Egypt ; and Potiphar 
an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, 
brought him out of the hands of the Ishmaelitesi which had 
brought him down thither (39: 1). What a contrast from 
being the beloved son in his father's house to the degrada- 
tion of slavery in Egypt 1 But this was as nothing com- 
pared with the voluntary self-humiliation of the Lord Jesus. 
He who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery 
to be equal with God, made Himself of no reputation, and 
took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2:6, 7). 
"Bond-slave" expresses the force of the original better than 
"servant." It is to this the prophetic language of Psalm 
40 refers. There we hear the Lord Jesus saying, ' ' Sacrifice 
and offering Thou didst not desire; Mine ears hast Thou 
digged; burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not re- 
quired. Then said I, lo, I come ; in the volume of the book 
it is written of Me. I delight to do Thy will, O My God." 
These words carry us back to Ezod. 21 : 5, 6 : And if the 
servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and 
my children ; I ¥rill not go out free. Then his master shall 
bring him unto the judges ; he shall also bring him to the 
door, or unto the door posi ; and his master shall tore his 
ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever." 
The Lord Jesus was the Speaker of that prophecy in Psalm 

S66 Gleanings in Genesis 

So, too, on the Cross, where, supremely, Gk>d's Servant was 
seen in the place of i^ame, God caused Him to be owned as 
'*the Son of God'' (Matt. 27 : 54) 1 Truly, was He a "goodly 
person, and well favored. ' ' 

31. Joseph was sorely tempted, yet sinned not. 

"And it came to pass after these things, that his master's 
wife cast her eyes upon Joseph ; and she said, Lie with me. 
But he refused and said unto his master 's wife, Behold, my 
master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he 
hath committed all that he hath to my hand. There is none 
greater in this house than I ; neither hath he kept back any- 
thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife; how 
then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against Gtodt 
And it came to pass as she spake to Joseph day by day, 
that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with 
her. And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went 
into the house to do his business ; and there was none of the 
men of the house there within. And she caught him by his 
garment, saying, Lie with me : and he left his garment in 
her hand, and fled, and got him out" (39 : 7-12). 

It is surely not without design that the Holy Spirit has 
placed in juxtaposition the account of the unchastity of 
Judah in Gen. 38 with the chastity of Joseph here in (Sen. 
39. And how significant that the un-faithf ulness of the one 
is placed before the faithfulness of the other 1 Joseph's 
temptation foreshadowed the temptation of the Lord Jesus, 
the last Adam, and His faithfulness in refusing the evil 
solicitations of Satan, which was in marked contrast from 
the failure of the first Adam, before Him. The marvellous 
accuracy of our type may be further seen by observing that 
Joseph's temptation is here divided into three distinct parts 
(as was that of our Lord), see verses 7, 10, 12. So, again, 
it should be remarked, that Joseph was tempted not in 
Canaan, by his brethren, but in Egypt (symbol of the 
world), by the wife of a captain of Pharaoh's guard. And 
the temptation suffered by the' Lord Jesus emanated, not 
from His brethren according to the flesh, but from Satan, 
"the prince of this world." 

Beautiful is it to mark how Joseph resisted the repeated 
temptation — * ' How then can I do this great wickedness and 
sin against Qod 1 ' ' This is the more striking if we link up 
this utterance of Joseph's with Psa. 105 : 19, "The Word of 
the Lord tried him.' ' So it was by the same Word that the 

Joseph in Egypt S67 

Saviour repulsed the Enemy. But notice here one point in 
contrast: ''And he (Joseph) left his garment in her hand, 
and fled, and got him out" (39 : 12). So, the Apostle Paul, 
writing to Timothy, enjoined him to ^*Flee youthful lusts'* 
(2 Tim. 2: 22). How different with the Perfect One! He 
said, ''Get thee hence, Satan" (Matt. 4: 10), and we read, 
''Then the Devil leaveth Him." In all things He has the 

32. Joseph was falsely acctLsed. 

"And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came 
home. And she spake unto him according to these words, 
saying. The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto 
us, came in unto me to mock me. And it came to pass, as 
I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with 
me, and fled out" (39 : 16-18). There was no ground what- 
ever for a true charge to be brought against Joseph, so an 
unjtut one was preferred. So it was, too, with Him who was 
"holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." His 
enemies "the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, 
sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death. 
But found none.** Yet, at the last, "came two false wit- 
nesses" (Matt. 16: 59, 60), who bore untrnthful testimony 
against Him. 

33. Joseph attempted no defence. 

"And it came to pass, when his master heard the words 
of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this 
manner did thy servant to me : that his wrath was kindled' ' 
(39: 19), though notice, it does not add, "against Joseph." 
In Oen. 37, we beheld Joseph's passive submission to the 
wrong done him by his heartless brethren. So here, when 
falsely and foully accused by this Egyptian woman, he at- 
tempts no self -vindication ; not a word of appeal is made ; 
nor is there any murmuring against the cruel injustice done 
him, as he is cast into prison. There was no recrimination ; 
nothing but a quiet enduring of the wrong. When Joseph 
was reviled, like the Saviour, he reviled not again. And 
how all this reminds us of what we read in Isa. 53 : 7, with 
its recorded falfillment in the Gospels, ' ' He was oppressed, 
and He was a£9icted, yet He opened not His mouth; He 
is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before 
her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth I'* 

368 Gleanings in Genesis 

34. Joseph w(is cctst into prison. 

'^And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the 
prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound ; and 
he was there in the prison" (39 : 20). 

* * Taking the garment that Joseph had left behind him in 
his flight, she used it as a proof of his guilt, and first to the 
servants, and then to her husband. She made out a ease 
against the Hebrew slave. The way she spoke of her hus- 
band to the servants (verse 14) shows the true character of 
the woman, and perhaps also the terms of her married life ; 
while the fact that Potiphar only placed Joseph in prison 
instead of commanding him to be put to death is another 
indication of the state of affairs. For appearance' sake 
Potiphar must take some action, but the precise action taken 
tells its own tale. He evidently did not credit her stoiy'* 
(Dr. G. Thomas). 

Just as Joseph, though completely innocent, was un- 
righteously cast into prison, so our Lord was unjustly sen- 
tenced to death by one who owned repeatedly, '^'I find no 
fault in Him." And how striking is the parallel between 
the acts of Potiphar and Pilate. It is evident that Potiphar 
did not believe the accusation which his wife brought against 
Joseph — had he really done so, as has been pointed out, he 
would have ordered his Hebrew slave put to death. But 
to save appearances he had Joseph cast into prison. Now 
mark the close parallel in Pilate. He, too, it is evident, did 
not believe in the guilt of our Lord or why have been so 
reluctant to give his consent for Him to be crucified ? He, 
too, knew the character of those who accused the Saviour. 
But, for the sake of appearances — as an officer of the Roman 
Empire, against the One who was charged with being a 
rebel against Caesar, for political expediency — 'he passed 

35. Joseph thus suffered at the hands of the Gentiles, 
Not only was Joseph envied and hated by his own breth- 
ren, and sold by them into the hands of the Gentiles, but 
he was also treated unfairly by the Gentiles too, and un- 
justly cast into prison. So it was with his Antitype, '*The 
kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered 
together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For 
of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast 
anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, toith the Oentiiest 

Joseph in Egypt S69 

and the people of Israel were gathered together" (Acts 4: 

36. Joseph, the innocent one, suffered severely. 

In Stephen's speech we find a statement which bears this 
out. Said he, ''And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold 
Joseph into Egypt, ' ' and then, referring to his experiences 
after he had become a slave, he adds, "'but God was with 
him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions'' (Acts 7: 
9, 10). How much, we wonder, is covered by these words! 
What indignities, trials and pains, was he called on to 
suffer t In Psa. 105 there is another word more specific, ' ' He 
(Ood) sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold 
for a servant: whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was 
laid in iron'* (verses 17, 18). How these references re- 
mind us of that Blesed One, who was mocked and spat upon, 
scourged and crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cruel 
tree I 

37. Joseph won the respect of his jailor. 

^ ^ But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, 
and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison" 
(39 : 21). Is not the antitype of this found in the fact that 
the Roman centurion, the one who had charge of the Cruci- 
fixion of the Saviour, cried, * * Certainly this was a Righteous 
Man'' (Luke 23 : 47). Thus did God give His Son favor in 
the sight of this Roman who corresponded with Joseph's 

38. Joseph was numbered with transgressors. 

''And it came to pass that after these things, that the 
butler of the king of Egypt, and his baker had offended 
their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was wroth 
against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers 
and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in 
ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the 
prison, the place where Joseph was bound" (40: 1-3). What 
a marvellous line is this in our typical picture. Joseph was 
not alone in the place of shame and suffering. Nor was the 
Lord Jesus as He hung on the heights of Calvary. And 
just as there were two malefactors crucified with Him, 
so two offenders were in the prison with Joseph 1 But the 
analogy extends ever further than this. 

39. Joseph was the means of hlessing to one, hut the 
pronouncer of judgment on the other. 

S70 Gleanings in Genesis 

His fellow prisoners had each of them a dream, and in 
interpreting them, Joseph declared that the butler should 
be delivered from prison, but to the baker he said, * * Within 
three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, 
and shall hang thee on a tree, and the birds shall eat thy 
flesh from off thee * ' (40 : 19 ) . It is not without good reason 
that the Holy Spirit has seen fit to record the details of 
these dreams. Connected with the spared one, the butler, 
we read of ''the cup" into which the grapes were pressed 
(49:10-12), suggesting to us the precious Blood of the 
Lamb, by which all who believe are delivered. Connected 
with the one who was not delivered, the baker, were baskets 
full of bakemeats (40:16, 17), suggesting human labors, 
the works of man's hands, which are powerless to deliver 
the sinner, or justify him before God : for all such there is 
only the '* Curse, *' referred to here by the baker being 
^'hanged on a tree'' (cf. Oal. 3 : 13) . So it was at the Cross: 
the one thief went to Paradise ; the other to Perdition. 

40. Joseph evidenced his knowledge of the future. 

In interpreting their dreams, Joseph foretold the future 
destiny of the butler and the baker. But observe that in 
doing this he was careful to ascribe the glory to Another, 
saying, *'Do not interpretations belong to Qodf* (40:8). 
So the One whom Joseph foreshadowed, again and again, 
made known what should come to pass in the future, 
yet did he say, *'For I have not spoken of Myself; but the 
Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what 
I should say, and what I should speak" John 12: 49). 

41. Joseph^s predictions came true. 

''And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's 
birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants ; and he 
lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker 
among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto 
his butlership again ; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh 'b 
hand. But he hanged the chief baker : as Joseph had inter- 
preted to them'' (40:20-22). Just as Joseph had inter- 
preted so it came to pass. So shall it be with every word of 
the Son of God, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His 
words shall not pass away. And O, unsaved reader, just as 
the solemn announcement of Joseph concerning the baker 
was actually fulfilled, so shall these words of the Lord 
Jesus be found true — ^^'he that belie veth not shall be 
damned I " 

Joseph in Egypt 371 

42. Joseph desired to he Remembered. 

Said Joseph to the butler, * * But think on me when it shall 
be well with thee" (40:14). So, in connection with the 
Supper, the Saviour has said, ^'This do in remembrance of 

As we admire these lovely typical pictures, like the queen 
of Sheba, there is no more strength left in us, and we can 
only bow our heads and say, ''How precious are Thy 
thoughts unto me, O God I How great is the sum of them I * ' 


Genesis 41 

Our present chapter opens by presenting to us the king 
of Eg3rpt dreaming two dreams, and awaking with his spirit 
troubled. The court magicians and wise men were sum* 
moned, and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but ^' there was 
none that could interpret them to Pharaoh.*' Then it was 
that the chief butler recalled his experience in prison. He 
remembers how he had a dream, and that a Hebrew slave 
had interpreted aright its significance. He recounts this 
now to the king, and Pharaoh sends at once for Joseph, who 
explains to him the meaning of his own dreams. There are 
several important truths which here receive a striking ex- 
emplification : 

First, we are shown that ^^The king's heart is in the hand 
of the Lord, as the rivers of waters. Ee turneth it whither- 
soever He will" (Prov. 21:1). It was no accident that 
Pharaoh dreamed as he did, and when he did. God's time 
had come for Joseph to be delivered from prison and exalted 
to a position of high honor and responsibility, and these 
dreams were but the instrument employed by Ood to accom- 
plish this end. Similarly, He used, long afterwards, the 
sleeplessness of another king to lead to the deliverance of 
Mordecai and his fellows. This truth has been expressed so 
forcefully and ably by C. H. M. in his ''Notes on Qenesis," 
we cannot refrain from quoting him : 

' ' The most trivial and the most important, the most likely 
and the most unlikely circumstances are made to minister 
to the development of God 's purposes. In chapter 39 Satan 
uses Potiphar's wife, and in chapter 40 he uses Pharaoh's 
chief butler. The former he used to put Joseph into the 
dungeon ; and the latter he used to keep him there, through 
his ungrateful negligence ; but all in vain. God was behind 
the scenes. His finger was guiding all the springs of the 
vast machine of circumstances, and when the due time was 
come, he brought forth the man of His purpose, and set his 
feet in a large room. Now, this is ever God's prerogative. 
He is above ally and can use all for the accomplishment of 
His grand and unsearchable desigas. It is sweet to be able 
thus to trace our Father's hand and coimsel in everything. 
Sweet to know that all sorts of agents are at His sovereign 


Joseph's Exaltation S73 

disposal; angels, men and devils — all are under His om- 
nipotent hand, and all are made to carry out His purposes " 
(p. 307: italics are ours). How rarely one finds such 
faith-strengthening sentiments such as these set forth, 
plainly, by writers of today ! 

Second, we are shown in the early part of Gtenesis 41 how 
that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with Ood. As 
it is well known, Egypt stands in Scripture as a figure of 
this world. In Joseph's time, the land of the Pharaoh 's was 
the center of learning and culture, the proud leader of the 
ancient civilizations. But the people were idolaters. They 
knew not God, and only in His light can we see light. Apart 
from Him, all is darkness, morally and spiritually. So we 
see it in the chapter before us. The magicians were im- 
potent, the wise men displayed their ignorance, and Pharaoh 
was made to feel the powerlessness of all human resources 
and the worthlessness of all human wisdom. 

Third, the man of Ood was the only one that had true 
wisdom and light. How true it is that **the secret of the 
Lord is with them that fear Himl'* These dreams of Pha- 
raoh had a prophetic significance: They respected the fu- 
ture of Egypt (typically, the world), and no Gentile, as 
such, had intelligence in the purpose of (Jod respecting the 
earth. God was pleased to make known His counsels to a 
Gentile, as here, a Jew had to be called, each time, as inter- 
preter. It was thus with Nebuchadnezzar. The wise men 
of Chaldea were as helpless as the magicians of Egypt; 
Daniel, alone, had understanding. So, too, with Belshazzar 
and all his companions — ^the aged prophet had to be called 
in to decipher the message upon the wall. Well would it be 
if leaders of the world today turned to the inspired writings 
of the Hebrew prophets of the things which must shortly 
come to pass. 

Fourth : That **all things work together for good to them 
that love God, to them who are the called according to His 
purpose, ' ' is writ large across our lesson. And well for us 
if we take this to heart. But the trouble is, we grow so im- 
patient under the process, while God is taking the tangled 
threads of our lives and making them **work together for 
good. ' ' We become so occupied with present circumstances 
that hope is no longer exercised, and the brighter and better 
future is blotted from our view. Let us bear in mind that 
Scripture declares, ^^ Better is the end of a thing than the 

S74 Gleanings in Genesis 

beginning thereof (Ecc. 7:8). Be of good eheer, faint 
heart; sorrow may endure for a night, but jay cometh in 
the morning. So it was with Joseph. For a season he sof* 
fered wrongfully, but at the last Gkxl vindicated and re- 
warded him. Remember Joseph then, troubled reader, and 
''let patience have her perfect work." But we must turn 
from these moralizings and consider the typical bearings of 
our chapter. We continue our previous enumeration. 

43. Joseph, in due time, was delivered from prison. 

Joseph had been rejected by his brethren, and treated un* 
justly and cruelly by the Egyptians. Through no fault of 
his own he had been cast into prison. But Gk>d did not 
suffer him to end his days, there. The place of shame and 
suffering was to be exchanged for one of high dignity and 
glory. The throne was to supplant the dungeon. And now 
that Gkxl's time for this had arrived, nothing could hinder 
the accomplishment of His purpose. So it was with our 
blessed Lord. Israel might despise and reject Him, wicked 
hands might take and crucify Him, the powers of darkness 
might rage against Him ; His lifeless body might be taken 
down and laid in the tomb, the sepulchre sealed and a watch 
set, but ^Ut W€is not possible that He should be holden of 
death'' (Acts 2: 24). No; on the third day. He rose again 
in triumph o'er the grave, leaving the cerements of death 
behind Him. How beautifully this was prefigured in the 
case of Joseph. ''Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and 
they brought him hastily out of the dungeon ; and he shaved 
himself, and changed his raiment, and came in xuito Pha- 
raoh" (41: 14). Compare John 20: 6, 7! 

44. Joseph was delivered from prison hy the hand of Ood. 

It is evident that, apart from Divine intervention, Joseph 
had been suffered to languish in the dungeon to the end of 
his days. It was only the coming in of Gk>d — ^Pharaoh's 
troubled spirit, the failure of the magicians' to interpret his 
dream, the butler's sudden recollection of the Hebrew in- 
terpreter — ^that brought about his release. Joseph himself 
recognized this, as is clear from his words to his brethren, 
at a later date : ' ' And Ood sent me before you to preserve 
you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a 
great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me 
hither, hut Ood : and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, 
and Lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land 

Joseph's Exaltation 375 

of Egypt. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto 
him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, Ood hath made me lord of 
all Egypt" (45: 7-9). So it was with the Saviour in being 
delivered from the prison of the tomb: ''Whom Ood hath 
raised up, having loosed the pains of death" (Acts 2: 24). 
''This Jesus hath Ood raised up'' (Acts 2: 32). Him Ood 
raised up the third day, and showed Him openly" (Acts 
10: 40).* 

45. Joseph is seen now as the Bevealer of secrets. 

Like the butler and baker before him, Pharaoh now re- 
counted to Joseph the dreams which had so troubled his 
spirit, and which the "wise men" were unable to interpret. 
It is beautiful to mark the modesty of Joseph on this occa- 
sion, "And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in 
me: Ood shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace" (41: 16). 
So, in a much higher sense, the Lord Jesus said, "I have 
given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me" (Jno. 
17 : 8) . And again, " As the Father hath taught Me, I speak 
these things" (Jno. 8:28). Once more, "For I have not 
spoken of Myself : but the Father which sent Me, He gave 
Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should 
speak" (Jno. 12:49). 

Having listened to the king's dream, Joseph said: "God 
hath showed Pharaoh what He is about to do" (41:25), 
and then he made known the meaning of the dreams. How 
close is the parallel between this and what we read of in the 
opening verse of the Apocalypse ! Just as Gk>d made known 
to the Egyptians, through Joseph, what He was "about to 
do, ' ' so has He now made known to us, through Jesus Christ, 
the things He will shortly do in this world. The parallel is 
perfect : said Joseph, "What Gk>d is about to do He showeth 
unto Pharaoh" (41:28), and the Apocalypse, we are told, 
is "the revelation of Jesus Christ, which Gk>d gave unto Him 
to show unto His servants things which must shortly come 
to pass. ' ' 

46. Joseph warned of a coming danger, and urged his 
hearers to make suitable provision to meet it. 

Joseph was no honied-mouthed "optimist," who spake 
only smooth and pleasant things. He fearlessly told the 
truth. He shunned not to declare the whole counsel of Gk>d. 

^Thero are other Scrtptures which ihow that the Lord Jeans raUed Himaelf 
(John 2:19: 10.17. 18, etc.). But, aboTe, we hare quoted thooe which 
emphasised the fulfillment of the type. 

376 Gleanings in Genesis 

He declared that, following the season of Divine blessing 
and privilege, there would come a time of famine, a famine 
which should consume the land, and be **very grievous." 
And in view of this, he warned them to make ready and be 
prepared. So also was Christ the faithful and true Wit- 
ness. He made known the fact that death does not end all, 
that there is a life to come. He warned those who trusted in 
their earthly possessions and who boasted of how they were 
going to enjoy them, that their souls would be ' ' required " 
of them, and that at short notice. He lifted the veil which 
hides the unseen, and gave His hearers a view of the suffer- 
ings of the damned in Hell. He spake often of that place 
where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, 
and where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of 
teeth. He counselled men to make provision against the 
future. He bade men to prepare for that which lies ahead 
of all — a face to face meeting with God. 

47. Joseph appeared next as the Wonderful Counsellor. 

Having interpreted to Pharaoh the meaning of his 
dreams, Joseph then undertook to advise the king as to the 
wisest course to follow in order to meet the approaching 
emergency, and provide for the future. There were to be 
seven years of plenty, which was to be followed by seven 
years of famine. Joseph, therefore, counselled the king to 
store up the corn during the time of plenty, against the need 
which would arise when the season of scarcity should come 
upon them. Thus did Joseph manifest the wisdom given to 
him by God, and display his immeasurable superiority over 
all the wise men of Egypt. Again the analogy is perfect. 
Christ, too, has been exhibited as ' ' the Wonderful Counsel- 
lor, ' ' the One sent by God with a message to tell men how to 
prepare for the future, and make sure their eternal inter- 
ests. He is the One ''in whom are hid all the treasures of 
wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). 

48. Joseph 's counsel commended itself to Pharaoh and his 

"And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in 
the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his 
servants. Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom 
the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, 
Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none 
so discreet and wise as thou art" (41:37-39). Pharaoh 

Joseph's Exaltation 377 

recognized that the wisdom manifested by this Hebrew slave 
had its source not in occult magic, but in the Spirit of God. 
Joseph had spoken with a discretion and wisdom far differ- 
ent from that possessed by the court philosophers, and this 
was freely owned by the king and his servants. So, too, the 
words of the Lord Jesus made a profound impression upon 
those who heard Him. ''And it came to pass, when Jesus 
had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His 
doctrine. For He taught them as One having authority, 
and not as the scribes" (Mat. 7:28, 29). ''And when He 
was come into His own country. He taught them in their 
synagogues, insomuch that they were astonished^ and said, 
Whence hath this man this tuisdomt'' (Mat. 13: 54). Just 
as Pharaoh and his servants were struck by the wisdom in 
Joseph. So here, those who listened to the Lord Jesus mar- 
velled at His wisdom. And just as Pharaoh confessed, 
"Can we find such a one as this is? . . . there is none so 
discreet and wise'^ so the auditors of Christ acknowledged, 
"Never man spake like this Man'* ( Jno. 7 : 46) ! 

49. Joseph is duly exalted^ and set over all Egypt. 

' ' And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath 
showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as 
thou art. Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto 
thy word shall all my people be ruled : only in the throne 
will I be greater than thou'* (41 : 39, 40). What a blessed 
change this was: from shame to glory, from the dungeon 
to the place of rule, from being a slave in fetters to being 
elevated high above all, Pharaoh alone being excepted. This 
was a grand reward for his previous fidelity, and a fitting 
recognition of his worth. And how beautifully this speaks 
to us of the One whom Joseph foreshadowed I He was here 
in humiliation and shame, but He is here so no longer. (jk)d 
has highly exalted Him. He is " gone into heaven, and is on 
the right hand of God ; angels and authorities and powers 
heing made subject unto Him'' (1 Pet. 3 : 22). 

50. Joseph was seated on the throne of another. 

How marvellously accurate is the type. Joseph was not 
seated upon his own throne ; he was not in the place of rule 
over his brethren. Though he was placed over Pharaoh's 
house, and according to his word was all Egypt to be ruled 
yet, ' ' in the Throne ' ' Pharaoh was greater than Joseph. So 
we read in Revelatiou 3 : 21, that the ascended Christ has 

378 Gleanings in Genesis 

said, ''to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me 
in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down 
with My Father in His Throne." 

''Today our Lord Jesus Christ shares the throne of the 
Father as Joseph shared the throne of Pharaoh. As Joseph 
ruled over Pharaoh's house with his word, so today our 
Lord Jesus Christ rules over the Father's household, the 
household of faith, the Church, by and through His Word. 
And today, while the Lord Jesus Christ is on the throne of 
His Father, He is not on His own throne. Read the passage 
just quoted in Revelation again, and it will be seen that our 
Lord Jesus Christ Himself makes a distinction between His 
own throne and the Father's throne, and promises reward 
to the overcomer, not on the Father's throne, but on His 
own ; and we know, according to the promise of the angel 
made to Mary, and the covenant made to David, and the title 
He wears as the King of Israel, 'the Son of David, the 
Son of Abraham,' that His throne is at Jerusalem, 'the 
city of the great King.' On His Father's throne He sits 
today as the Rejected Man, the Rejected Jew" (Dr. Halde- 

51. Joseph was exalted to the throne because of his per^ 
sonal worth. 

"All this is typical of the present exaltation of Christ 
Jesus the Lord. He who was once the Crucified is now the 
Glorified. He whom men once put upon a gibbet, has been 
placed by God upon His throne. Joseph was given his place 
of exaltation in Egypt purely on the ground of his personal 
worth and actual service rendered by him to the country 
and kingdom of Egypt" (Mr. Knapp). And what a lovely 
parallel to this we find in Phil. 2 — ^yet as far as our Lord 
excelled Joseph in personal worth and service, so far is His 
exaltation the higher — ^"Who, being in the form of Gk)d, 
thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made 
Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of 
a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being 
found in fashion as a man. He humbled Himself, and became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore 
God also hath highly exalted Him" (Phil. 2 : 6-9). 

52. Joseph was invested mth stich insignia as became his 
new position. 

Joseph's Exaltation 379 

''And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put 
it npon Joseph 's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine 
linen, and put a gold chain about his neck" (40 : 42) . And 
thus we read of the Antitype : * ' Him hath Gk>d exalted with 
His right hand to he a Prince, and a Saviour" (Acts 5 : 31). 
And again, ' ^ But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower 
than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with 
glory and honot^' (Heb. 2:9). Compare, too, the descrip- 
tion of our glorified Lord as given in Revelation 1. There 
we behold Him, ' ' clothed with a garment down to the foot, 
and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle" (5: 13). 

53. Joseph's authority and glory are publicly owned. 

' ' And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he 
had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee; and he 
made him ruler over all the land of Egypt" (41 : 43). On 
the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Je¥rs who had con- 
demned and crucified the Saviour, '* Therefore let all the 
House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that 
same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ'* 
(Acts 2 : 36). And it is the part of wisdom, dear reader, to 
recognize and own this. Have you recognized the exalted 
dignity of Christ, and by faith seen that the One who died 
on Calvary's Cross is now seated on the right hand of the 
Majesty on high ? Have you submitted to His Lordship, so 
that you live now only to please Himf Have you "bowed 
the Imee" before Him? If not, 0, may Divine grace con- 
strain you to do so without further delay, voluntarily and 
gladly, that you may not be among the great crowd who 
shall, in the coming Day, be compelled to do so; for Gk>d 
has sworn, "that at the Name of Jesus every knee should 
how, of things in heaven and things in earth and things 
under the earth ' ' (Phil. 2 : 10) . 

54. Joseph received from Pharaoh a new name. 

"And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah'' 
(41:45), which signifies, according to its Egyptian mean- 
ing, "the Saviour of the world." So, to quote once more 
from Phil. 2, we read, "Wherefore (Jod also hath highly 
exalted Him, and given Him the Name which is ahove every 
name . . . Jesus'' (Phil. 2:9, 10). This name He bore 
while on earth, but at that time it was held as pledge and 
promise, "Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall 
save His people from their sins" (Mat. 1:21) said the 

S80 Gleanings in Genesis 

angel. But He could not ''save His people from their sins** 
until He had borne them in His own body on the tree, until 
He had risen from the dead, until He returned to heaven 
and sent forth the Holy Spirit to apply the benefits and 
virtues of His finished work. But when He ascended on 
high He became Saviour in fact. Gk)d exalted Him with 
His right hand *^to he a Prince and a Saviour" (Acts 5: 
31), and therefore did Ood Himself then give to His be- 
loved Son the Name which is above every name, even the 
Name of ^^ Jesus/' which means the Saviour; just as after 
the period of his shame was over, and Joseph had been 
exalted by Pharaoh, he, then, received the name which sig- 
nifies ' ' the Saviour of the world ! " 

Reader, have you an interest, a personal one, in the value 
and saving efficacy of that Name which is above every namef 
If not, receive Him now as your own Saviour. If by grace, 
you have, then bow before Him in adoration and praise. 



Genesis 41 

55. Joseph has a wife given to him. 

''And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah 
(the Egyptian meaning of which is ' Saviour of the world') ; 
and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti- 
pharah priest of On" (40:45). It is with some hesitation 
and much reluctance that at this point the writer finds him- 
self differing from other students and commentators. Many 
whom we respect highly have regarded Asenath as here pre- 
figuring the Church. Their principal reason for doing this 
is because Joseph's wife was a Oentile. But while allowing 
the force of this, we feel that it is more than counterbal- 
anced by another point which makes against it. Believing 
that everything in this inspired narrative has a definite 
meaning and typical value, and that each verse has been 
put into its present place by the Holy Spirit, we are con- 
fronted with what is, to us, an insuperable difficulty if 
Asenath prefigures the Church, namely, the fact that in the 
very next verse which follows the mention of Pharaoh giv- 
ing a wife to Joseph, we are told, *'And Joseph was thirty 
years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt" 
(41:46). Had this statement followed immediately after 
41 : 14, which records Joseph being brought out of prison to 
appear before Pharaoh, and after this we had been told 
Joseph received his wife, we should be obliged to regard 
Asenath as a type of the Church ; but as it is, we believe the 
Epical application must be sought elsewhere, as we shall 
now proceed to point out. 

The Holy Spirit has here (we are assured, with definite 
design) made mention of Joseph having a wife before his 
*'age" is referred to, and before his life's work began. 
That the age of Joseph at the time his real work started, 
pointed to the age of the Lord Jes'is when His public min- 
istry commenced, is too ob^^ous to admit of dispute. The 
fact, then, that the Holy Spirit speaks of Joseph's wife 
before the mention of him being thirty years of age, suggests 
to the writer that the typical significance of Asenath must be 
sought at some point of time before the Lord Jesus entered 
upon His life 's mission. And that, of course, takes us back 


S82 Gleanings in Genesis 

to Old Testament times. And there, we do learn of Jehovah 
(the Lord Jesns) possessing a ''wife/' even IsraeL From 
the various Scriptures which bring this out we select two 
verses from Jeremiah 3. There, God's prophet, when ex- 
postulating with His wayward people, said, ' ' Turn, back- 
sliding children, said the Lord ; for I am married unto yov^' 
(verse 14) ; ''Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from 
her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, O 
house of Israel, saith the Lord" (verse 20). 

But against this it will be objected, How could Asenath, 
the Egyptian, wife of Joseph, typify Israel, the wife of Je- 
hovah t Formidable as this objection appears at first sight, 
it is, nevertheless, capable of easy solution. The di£Sculty 
disappears if we go back to the time when Israel first became 
Jehovah's wife. Upon this point the Scriptures are very 
explicit. In Ezekiel 16, where the prophet is outlining the 
sad history of Israel, and where he says, ' ' How weak is thine 
heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou doest all these things, 
the work of an imperious whorish woman; in that thou 
buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and 
makest thine high place in every street ; and hast not been 
as a harlot, in that thou scomest hire. But as a unfe that 
committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her 
husband;" here, at the outset, the prophet declares, "Thus 
saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem, Thy birth and thy na- 
tivity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, 
and thy mother a Hittite" (Ezek. 16:3). Here, then, we 
learn the origin (the mor<il origin, no doubt) of Israel, and 
how fittingly did Asenath, the Gtentile, prefigure Jehovah's 
wife at that time! It was not until after Israel was re- 
deemed from Egypt's bondage and corruption that they 
became separated from all other nations. If further con- 
firmation be necessary it is found in Jeremiah 2 : 2, " Gk> cry 
in the ears of Jerusalem, thus saith the Lord ; I remember 
thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, 
when thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land that 
was not sown." Israel, then, became Jehovah's in Egypt, 
when redeemed by blood, and after by power. 

The issue from Joseph 's marriage appears to us to fit in 
with the interpretation suggested above much better than 
with the common application of the type of Asenath to the 
Church. "Unto Joseph were bom two sons" (41 : 50), and 
does not this correspond with the history of Israel after she 

Joseph the Saviour of the World 883 

became Jehovah -s wife ? Was not the issue of that union 
the Mo kingdoms in the days of Rehoboam, and does not the 
meaning of the names of Joseph's two sons well describe the 
two kingdoms which, ultimately , issued from Israel? ^'Jo- 
seph called the name of the first bom Manasseh" (41 : 51), 
which signifies ^' Forgetting'^ and was it not that which, 
peculiarly, characterized the ten-tribed kingdom! *'The 
name of the second called he Ephraim" (41:52), which 
means '^Fruitful/' and such was Judah, from whom the 
Lord Jesus came I 

56. Joseph's marriage was arranged hy Pharaoh. 

How perfectly thb agrees with what we read of in Mat* 
thew 22 : 2 ! ^ ' The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain 
king, which made a marriage for His Son. ' ' The fact that 
Asenath is mentioned before we are told that Joseph was 
thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh and began 
his life's work (type of Christ as He began His public min- 
istry), and that the birth and naming of his sons occurred 
afterward J suggests (as is so often the case, both in types 
and prophecies) that there is here a double foreshadowment. 
This Gkntile wife of Joseph points backward, first, to Is- 
rael's condition before Jehovah separated her from all other 
peoples and took her unto Himself; and, second, the type 
seems to point forward to the time when the Lord shall re- 
sume His dealings with her, see Jeremiah 31 : 31-34 ; Ezekiel 
16:62,63; Hosea 2 : 19-23 ; Isaiah 54 : 5-8* ) . Then, too, 
shall the names of Joseph 's two sons be found to possess a 
double significance, for God's will ** forget'' Israel's past, 
and Israel shall then, as never before, be found *^ fruitful." 

57. Joseph was thirty years old when he began his life's 

**And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before 
Pharaoh king of Egypt" (41 : 46). Every line in this won- 
drous picture has its own beauty and value. There is noth- 
ing here without profound significance. The Holy Spirit 
has a definite design in telling us what was Joseph's age 
when his public service began. He was thirty years old. 
How perfectly does type and antitype correspond ! In Luke 
3 : 23 we read, ' ' And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty 

*Tbe apliitual and dtapensational condition of larael at the moment 
when Ood ahall resume His dealings with His ancient people. Is, again, 
aptly figured by a Oentile, for they are termed by Him now, and until then 
"Lo-amml" (Hosea 1:9), which means "Not My people," 

384 Gleanings in Genesis 

years of age.'' This was the age of the Lord Jesus when He 
commenced His public ministry, as it was Joseph's when he 
began his life 's work. 

58. Joseph went forth on his mission from Pharaoh's 

* * And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before 
Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the 
presence of Pharaoh" (41:46). In this chapter Pharaoh 
— ^as the one who ruled Egypt, who delighted in the excel- 
lences of Joseph, who set Joseph over all his house, but who 
retained the position of supremacy as to the throne — pre- 
figured Ood the Father. Viewed in this light, how blessed 
is the typical force of the last-made quotation. It was from 
Pharaoh's ** presence" Joseph began his life's work I How 
marvellously this corresponds, again, with what we read in 
Luke 3 ! The words which immediately precede the mention 
of the Lord being thirty years old when His public service 
began, are the well-known utterance of the Father at the 
time of His baptism, ' ' Thou art My beloved Son ; in Thee I 
am well pleased" (Lu. 3 : 22) . So little is told us about the 
Saviour before His active ministry began. The years spent 
at Nazareth, save for that one brief statement which covered 
the period of His boyhood, are passed over in silence. But 
as He came up out of the waters of baptism, the Father bore 
public testimony to the perfect life which His Son had lived 
here on earth, for, without doubt, the words, * * In Thee I am 
well pleased," not only affirmed the excellency of Christ's 
person, but witnessed to the Father's approval of the thirty 
years which His incarnate Son had spent in obscurity. That 
which we desire to call attention to here is, just as Joseph 
went forth to his work from Pharaoh 's ' ' presence, ' ' so the 
Lord Jesus started out on His public service from the Fa- 
ther's presence, there manifested at the Jordan ! 

59. Joseph's service was an active and itinerent one. 

' * And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and 
went throughout all the land of Egypt" (41:46). Joseph 
was no idler. He did not betray Pharaoh's confidence in 
him, but faithfully discharged his duty. He did not remain 
in the place of ease and comfort, but ^ ^ went throughout all 
the land of Egypt." How well these words remind us of 
what we read in the Oospels concerning that One whom 
Joseph foreshadowed. Of Him we read, ^'And Jesus went 

Joseph the Saviour of the World 385 

about all Oalileey teaching in their i^nagogues, and preach- 
ing the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of 
sickness" (Mat. 4:23). And again, ''And Jesus went 
about all the cities and villages'^ (Mat. 9 : 35). 

60. Joseph^ 8 exaltation was followed hy a season of plenty. 

''And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought 
forth by handf uls. And he gathered up all the food of the 
seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up 
the food in the cities : the food of the field, which was round 
about every city, laid he up in the same. And Joseph gath- 
ered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left 
numbering ; for it was without number " (41 : 47-49 ) . Con- 
cerning the typical meaning of these verses we quote from 
Mr. Knapp: "These seven years of great abundance pic- 
ture, if they do not typify, the present dispensation of grace 
in which it is our happy lot to live. ' Now is the accepted 
time; behold, now is the day of salvation' (2 Cor. 6:2). 
There were seven years, not of plenty merely, but of ' great 
plenty.' And during those years, we read 'the earth 
brought forth by handfuls. ' It was a time of extraordinary 
abundance. And there was never a day like the one in 
which we live. Never before the present dispensation did 
God send His messengers out into all the world to proclaim 
to every sinner a free and a full salvation through faith in 
the name of His own exalted Son. There never was a time 
of such 'abundance,' such 'great plenty,' at any former 
period of God's dealings with the earth. And it is a re- 
markable fact, which I have not seen previously noted, that 
of all the distinct dispensations of time referred to in Scrip- 
ture, the present is by far the longest. And oh, what a tale 
of grace this tells ! God is indeed * long suffering to usward, 
not willing that any should perish.' " 

We doubt not that the saved of this dispensation are far 
in excess of any previous one. How few were saved during 
the centuries which passed from the days of Abel up to the 
Flood! How few appear to have been saved during the 
times of the patriarchs ! How few among Israel, from the 
days of Joshua onwards, gave evidence of being bom again ! 
How few seem to have been saved during the public min- 
istry of Christ — but a hundred and twenty were found in 
the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit. How evident 
it is, then, that in contrast from all that has preceded, the 

S86 Gleanings in Genesis 

earth is now bringing forth ''in abundance"! It is the 
''much fruit'' ( Jno. 12 : 24) which our Lord declared should 
issue from His death. 

61. Joseph's exaltation was also followed hy a period of 

''And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the 
land of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth 
began to come, according as Joseph had said; and the 
dearth was in all lands ; but in all the land of Egypt there 
was bread" (41:53, 54). Just as the "seven years" — a 
complete period — ^pointed to the present interval of Grace, 
during which the great spiritual harvest is being garnered, 
80 the "seven years" of famine (another complete period) 
look onward to that which shall follow the present di&> 
pensation. After the going forth of the (Gospel of Ood's 
grace has accomplished its Divine purpose, and ''the fulness 
of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11 : 25), the Holy Spirit 
will depart out of the world, and there shall come that sea- 
son which Scripture denominates "the great tribulation." 
Many are the passages which refer to that season. It is 
termed "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30: 7), for then 
will be the season of Israel's darkest hour. It was to this 
Daniel referred when he said, "There shall be a time of 
trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to 
that same time " (Dan. 12 : 1 ) . Concerning this same period 
the Lord Jesus spake, when He said, "For in those days 
shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the 
creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be* 
And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh 
should be saved" (Mk. 13:19, 20). It will be the time 
when Satan is cast down to the earth, when the Antichrist 
shall be here in full power, and when the storm of God's 
judgment shall burst upon the world. Morally and spirit- 
ually, it will be a time of "famine," and, like that which 
typified it in the days of Joseph, it shall be "very grievous" 
((Jen. 41 : 31 ) . Moreover, the sphere encompassed by (Jod's 
sore judgments in that day will be no local one, but just as 
we are told that the dearth of old was not confined to Egypt, 
but that "the famine was over the face of all the earth" 
(41: 56), so in Revelation 3: 10 we are told, the "Hour of 
Temptation" comes upon "all the world, to try them which 
dwell upon the earth." It was of this same period that 

Joseph the Saviour of the World 387 

Amos prophesied, '' Behold, the days come, saith the Lord 
Ood, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of 
bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of 
the Lord. And they shall wander, from sea to sea, and from 
the north even to the east ; they shall run to and fro to seek 
the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it" (Amos 8: 11, 
12). At present the world is enjoying the years of plenty, 
and how little it believes in the coming time of * * famine, ' ' 
now so near at hand! Be warned then, dear reader, and 
^'Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon 
Him while He is near^' (Isa. 55 : 6) ; for, if you are left on 
earth for the coming Day of Wrath, it shall be said, ^Uhe 
harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" 
(Jer. 8:20). 

62. Joseph is now seen dispensing bread to a perishing 

''And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the peo- 
ple cried to Pharaoh for bread : and Pharaoh said unto all 
the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do" 
(41 : 55) . ''It was a wonderful thing that the despised and 
rejected Jew should be the passport to the favor of Pha- 
raoh; a wonderful thing that the rejected Jew should be 
exalted into the place of a Saviour for a famine-smitten 
world; it was a wonderful thing that this rejected Jew 
should be the only Saviour for that starving world. Equally 
true and wonderful is it today that Jesus the rejected Jew 
is the passport to the favor of Ood; that He is 'the Way, 
the Truth, and the Life,' and that 'no man cometh unto the 
Father but by Him'; wonderful that this rejected Christ 
riiould be exalted into a Saviour for a famine-smitten world ; 
wonderful that this rejected Christ is the alone Saviour for 
a starving world. 

"Joseph was sent by his father to his brethren that he 
might be a blessing unto them, and they refused ; then God 
turned their sin so that while it should remain as a judg- 
ment to them, it might become a blessing to others. In 
sending His Son to fulfill the promises made to the fathers, 
God would have brought covenant and numberless blessings 
to Israel; they refused, and God has made use of their 
blindness and sin to turn salvation to others. He has made 
the very sin and blindness of the people to be the occasion 
of grace and mercy to the whole world. ' Through their fall 

388 Gleanings in Genesis 

salvation is come unto the Gentiles' (Rom. 11:11).'*-^ 
Dr. H. 

63. Joseph alone dispensed the Bread of Life. 

It is beautiful to observe here how Pharaoh directed all 
who cried to him for bread to go unto Joseph : ' ' And when 
all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to 
Pharaoh for bread : and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyp- 
tians : Oo unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do'' (41 : 55). 
May we not say this was the Gospel for Egypt, the good 
news that Joseph was the appointed Saviour, the glad ti- 
dings that whosoever was hungry might go to Joseph and 
obtain relief. How perfectly this foreshadowed the present 
Gospel of God*s grace ! When a guilty and convicted sin- 
ner, with a great hunger in his soul, cries unto God, what 
is His response f Why, does He not refer all such to the 
person of His blessed Son ! Only in Christ is salvation to be 
found, for ''neither is there salvation in any other: for 
there is none other Name under heaven, given among men 
whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4; 12). Just as of old 
Pharaoh said to the Egyptians, ' ' Go unto Joseph : what he 
saith to yon, do, ' ' so, upon the Mount of Transfiguration the 
Father said to the disciples of Christ, *'This is My beloved 
Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him*' (Mat 17: 
5), and this is what He is still saying to men. 

64. Joseph became a Saviour to all peoples. 

''And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy 
com ; because that the famine was so sore in all lands" (41 : 
57). Joseph was raised up by God to meet a world-wide 
need. The "dearth" was in "all lands'' (41:54). But 
Gk>d, through Joseph, made ample provision to supply the 
wants of all. There was nothing provincial about the boun- 
ties which Joseph dispensed, he readily gave to each alike, 
no matter whether it was the Egyptians, his own brothers, 
or strangers from distant lands, all were fed. And how 
blessed to know this is equally true of the Antitype ! Gk>d's 
Saviour for sinners is no provincial one. He is for both Jew 
and Gkntile, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, old and 
young, men and women — all^ alike, may find in Him that 
which can satisfy their deepest need, the Gospel is for every 
creature, and its terms are, '* Whosoever helieveth in Him 
shall not perish, but have everlasting life." And just as 
peoples from "all countries came to Joseph," so those who 

Joseph the Saviour of the World 389 

will sing the new song in heaven shall proclaim, ''Worthy 
art Thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof ; for 
Thou wast slain, and didst purchase unto God with Thy 
blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people and na- 
tion'' (Rev. 5:9). 

65. Joseph had Ulimitahle resources to meet the need of 

' ' And Joseph gathered com as the sand of the sea, very 
much, until he left numbering ; for it was without number ' * 
(41:49). How abundant was God's provision! He pro- 
vided with no niggardly hand. There was to be ampty suffi- 
cient for every one that applied for the alleviation of his 
need. And how this reminds us of those blessed expressions 
which we meet with so frequently in the Epistles ! There 
we read of *'the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7), yea, **the 
exceeding riches of His grace" (Eph. 2:7). There we read 
of God being ''rich in mercy" (Eph. 2:4), and, again, of 
His ** abundant mercy" (1 Pet 1:3). There we read of 
**the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph. 3:8), for **in 
Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (CoL 
2:9). And again we are told, ''The same Lord over all is 
rich unto all that call upon Him" (Roul 10 : 12). 

Thank God, the Saviour He has provided for us is pos- 
sessed of illimitable resources. There is no shortness or 
strainness in Him. There is infinite value in that precious 
blood which He shed upon the Cross to make an atonement 
for sin. There is infinite pity in His heart toward sinners. 
There is infinite readiness and willingness on His part to 
receive all who will come to Him. There is infinite power 
in His arm to deliver and keep that which is committed 
unto Him. There is no sinner so depraved that Christ's 
blood cannot cleanse him. There is no sinner so bound by 
the fetters of Satan that Christ cannot free him. There is 
no sinner so weary and despondent that Christ cannot sat- 
isfy him. The promise of the Saviour Himself is, ''Come 
unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest" (Mat. 11 : 28). 0, sin-sick soul, put Him to 
the test for yourself, and see. Come to Christ just as you 
are, in all your wretchedness and need, and He will gladly 
receive you, blot cut all your iniquities, and put a new song 
into your mouth. May God, in His grace, cause some de- 
spondent ones to prove for themselves the infinite sufficiency 
of His Son. 


Since we left Gen. 37-38 nothing more has been heard 
of the family of Jacob. Joseph is the one upon whom the 
Holy Spirit has concentrated attention. In Oten. 37 we 
saw how Joseph was sent by his father on an errand of 
mercy to his brethren, inquiring after their welfare; that 
Joseph came unto them and they received him not; that, 
instead, they envied and hated him, and sold him into the 
hands of the Gentiles. Then, we have followed his career 
in Egypt, and have seen how that the Egyptians, too, 
treated him badly, casting him into the place of shame and 
humiliation. Also, we have seen how Gk>d vindicated His 
faithful servant, bringing him out of prison-house and 
making him governor of all Egypt. Finally, we have 
learned how that Joseph's exaltation was followed by a 
season of plenty, when the earth brought forth abundantly, 
and how this in turn, was followed by a grievous famine, 
when Joseph came before us as the dispenser of bread to a 
perishing humanity. But during all this time the brethren 
of Joseph faded from view, but now, in the time of famine 
they come to the front again. 

All of this is deeply significant, and perfect in its typical 
application. Joseph foreshadowed the Beloved of the 
Father, sent to His brethren according to the flesh, seeking 
their welfare. But they despised and rejected Him. They 
sold Him, and delivered Him up to the Gentiles. The 
Gentiles unjustly condemned Him to death, and following 
the crucifixion, His body was placed in the prison of the 
tomb. In due time God delivered Him, and exalted Him 
to His own right hand. Following the ascension, Christ 
has been presented as the Saviour of the world, the Bread 
of Life for a perishing humanity. During this dispensation 
the Jew is set aside : it is out from the Gentiles God is now 
taking a people for His name. But soon this dispensation 
shall have run its appointed course and then shall come the 
tribulation period when, following the removal of the Holy 
Spirit from the earth, there shall be a grievous time of 
spiritual famine. It is during this tribulation period that 
Gk)d shall resume His dealings with the Jews — the brethren 


Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 391 

of Christ according to the flesh. Hence, true to the anti- 
type, Joseph's brethren figure prominently in the closing 
chapters of Genesis. Continuing our previous enumeration 
we shall now follow the experiences of the brethren from 
the time they rejected Joseph. 

66. Joseph's brethren are drivers out of their own land. 

In Gen. 37 the sons of Jacob are seen delivering up 
Joseph into the hands of the Gentiles, and nothing more is 
heard of them till we come to Gen. 42. And what do we 
read concerning them there t This: **Now when Jacob 
saw that there was com in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, 
Why do ye look one upon another t And he said, Behold, 
I have heard that there is corn in Egypt : get you down 
thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, 
and not die. And Joseph 's ten brethren went down to buy 
com in Egypt. And the sons of Israel came to buy com 
among those that came : for the famine was in the land of 
Canaan" (42 : 1-3, 5). Canaan was smitten by the scourge 
of God. It was eaten up by a famine. Jacob and his 
family were in danger of dying, and the pangs of hunger 
drove the brethren of Joseph out of their land, and com> 
pelled them to journey down to Egypt — i^mbol of the 
world. This was a prophecy in action, a prophecy that 
received its tragic fulfillment two thousand years later. 
Just as a few years after his brethren had rejected Joseph, 
they were forced by a famine (sent from God) to leave their 
land and go down to Egypt, so a few years after the Jews 
had rejected Christ and delivered Him up to the Gentiles, 
God's judgment descended upon them, and the Romans 
drove them from their land, and dispersed them through- 
out the world. 

67. Joseph was unknown and unrecognized hy his 

**And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it 
was that sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's 
brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with 
their faces to the earth. And Joseph knew his brethren, 
but they knew not him" (42:6, 8). Joseph had been 
exalted over all the house of Pharaoh, but Jacob knew it 
not. All these years he thought that Joseph was dead. And 
now his family is suffering from the famine, the scourge of 

392 Gleanings in Genesis 

Qody and his sons, driven out of Canaan by the pangs of 
hunger, and going down to Egypt, they know not the one 
who was now governor of the land. So it has been with 
Jacob 's descendants ever since the time they rejected their 
Messiah. They received not the love of the truth, and for 
this cause God has sent them strong delusion that they 
should believe a lie. They know not that Ood raised the 
Lord Jesus : they believe He is dead, and through all the 
long centuries of the Christian era a veil has been over their 
hearts, and the beginning of the tribulation period will find 
them still ignorant of the exaltation and glory of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

68. Joseph, however, saw and knew his brethren. 

''And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them" 
(42:7). Yes, Joseph ''saw'' his brethren, his eye waa 
upon them, even though they knew him not. So the eye of 
the Lord Jesus has been upon the Jews all through the long 
night of their rejection. Hear His words (as Jehovah) 
through Jeremiah the prophet, "For mine eyes are upon 
all their ways: they are not hid from My face, neither is 
their iniquity hid from Mine 'Eyes' " (16:17). So, too, 
through Hosea, He said, "I know Ephraim, and Israel is 
not hid from Me" (5:3). 

69. Joseph punished his brethren. 

"And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but 
made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto 

them and he put them all together into ward three 

days" (42:7, 17). We quote here from the impressive 
words of Dr. Haldeman: "Joseph was the cause of their 
troubles now. Joseph was punishing them for their past 
dealing with himself. The secret of all Judah's suffering 
during the past centuries is to be found in the fact that 
the rejected Messiah has been dealing 'roughly' with 
them. He has been punishing them, making use of their 
wilfulness and the cupidity of the nations, but| all the 
same, punishing them. 'My Gk>d will cast them away, be- 
cause they do not hearken unto Him: and they shall be 
wanderers among the nations' (Hosea 9:17). 'For I say 
unto you. Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, 
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.' (Matt. 
23:38, 39) 'That upon you may come all the righteous 

Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 393 

blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel 
unto the blood of Zecharias, son of Baraehias, whom ye 
slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto 
you, All these things shall come upon this generation 
(nation) ' (Matt. 23 : 35, 36). Nothing can account for the 
unparalleled suffering of this people, but the judgment 
and discipline of the Lord. ' ' 

70. Joseph made known to them a way of deliverance 
through Suhstitution. 

**And he put them all together into ward three days. 
And Joseph said unto them the third day, this do, and 
live, for I fear God. If ye be true men, let one of your 
brethren be bound in the house of your prison; go ye, 
carry corn for the famine of your houses .... And he took 
from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes" 
(42 : 17-19, 24) . Once more we quote from Dr. Haldeman's 
splendid article on Joseph : 

^ ' On the third day he caused Simeon to be bound in the 
place of his brethren, and declared that by this means they 
might all be delivered, in the third day era, that is to say, 
on the resurrection side of the grave. On the day of Pente- 
cost, the apostle Peter presented our Lord Jesus Christ as 
the risen one whom Ood had exalted to be a Prince and a 
Saviour unto Israel, declaring that if the latter should 
repent of their evil and sin toward Him whom He had sent 
to be Messiah and King, He would accept His death as the 
substitution for the judgment due them; that He would 
save them and send His Son again to be both Messiah and 
Saviour. ' ' 

71. Joseph made provision for his brethren while they 
were in a strange land. 

^'Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with com, 
and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give 
them provision for the way; and thus did he unto them" 
(42:25). Although they knew not Joseph, and although 
he spoke roughly unto his brethren and punished them by 
easting them into prison, nevertheless, his judgments were 
tempered with mercy. Joseph would not suffer his brethren 
to perish by the way. They were here in a strange land, 
and he ministered unto their need. So it has been through- 
out this dispensation. Side by side with the fact that the 

394 Gleanings in Genesis 

Jews have been severely punished by Gk>d, so that they 
have suffered as no other nation, has been their miraculous 
preservation. Ood has sustained them during all the long 
centuries that they have been absent from their own land. 
God has provided for them by the way, as Joseph did for 
his erring brethren. Thus has God fulfilled His promises 
of old. * ' For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee : 
though I make a full end of all nations whither I have 
scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee ; but 
I will correct thee in measure, and I will not leave thee 
altogether unpunished ' ' ( Jer. 30 : 11 ) . And again ; ' ' Thus 
saith the Lord God; although I have cast them far off 
among the heathen, and although I have scattered them 
among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanc- 
tuary in the countries where they shall come'* (Ezek. 

72. Joseph was made known to his brethren at the second 

This was emphasized by Stephen in his parting message 
to Israel ; * ^ And at the second time Joseph was made known 
to his brethren" (Acts 7: 13). At their first visit, though 
Joseph knew his brethren, they knew not him. It was on 
the occasion of their second visit to Egypt that Joseph re- 
vealed himself to them. How marvelously accurate the 
type! The first time the Lord Jesus was seen by His 
brethren after the flesh, they knew Him not, but when they 
see Him the second time He shall be known by them. 

It is significant that the Holy Spirit has singled out this 
highly important point, and has repeated it, again and 
again, in other types. It was thus with Moses and Israel. 
'^ And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, 
that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their 
burdens ; and he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one 
of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and 
when he saw that, there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, 
and hid him in the sand" (Ex. 2:11, 12). And how did 
his brethren appreciate his intervention on their behalf t 
They despised him; they said, "Who made thee a prince 
and a judge over us" (Ex. 2: 14). They said, in effect, as 
Israel said of Christ, "We will not have this Man to reign 
over us" (Luke 19 : 14). But the second time (after a long 
interval, during which Moses was hid from them) that he 
appeared unto them^ they accepted him as their Leader. 

Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 395 

It was thus with Joshua and Israel. The first time that 
Joshua appeared before the Nation was as one of the two 
''spies" who brought to them a favorable report of the 
land, and counselled his brethren to go up- and possess it. 
But Israel rejected his message (Num. 13). It was not 
until long after when Joshua came before the people, 
publicly, for the second time, that they accepted him as 
their Leader, and were conducted by him into their in- 

The same principle is illustrated, again, in the history of 
David. David was sent by his father seeking the welfare of 
his brethren; ''And Jesse said unto David his son, take 
now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched com, and 
these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren. And 
carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, 
and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge" 
(1 Sam. 17: 17-18). But when he reached them, they re- 
sented his kindness, and their "anger was kindled against 
David" (See 1 Sam. 17:28), and it was not until years 
later that they, together with all Israel, owned him as their 

Each of these was a type of the Lord Jesus. The first 
time He appeared to Israel they received Him not; but at 
His second advent they shall accept Him as their Leader 
and King. 

73. Joseph's brethren confess their Chiilt in the sight of 

"And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lordt 
What shall we speak t or how shall we clear ourselves t Ood 
hath found out the iniquity of thy servants'' (44:16). 
There are several striking verses in the prophets which 
throw light upon the antitypical significance of this point. 
"And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring 
you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which 
I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers. And 
there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, 
wherein ye have been defiled ; and ye shall loathe yourselves 
in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed" 
(Ezek. 20:42, 43). And again, "I will go and return to 
My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My 
face; in their affliction they will seek me early" (Hosea 
5:15). So it was with Joseph; he did not reveal 

396 Gleanings in Genesis 

to his brethren until they had acknowledged their ''in- 
iquity. ' ' And so will Israel have to turn to God in real and 
deep penitence before He sends His Son back to them (see 
Acts 3:19, 20). 

74. Joseph's brethren were also, at first, troubled in his 

^ ' And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph ; doth 
my father yet livet And his brethren could not answer 
him, for they were troubled at his presence" (45 : 3). How 
perfectly does antitype correspond with type ! When Israel 
shall first gaze upon their rejected Messiah, we are told, 
**And they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, 
and they shall mourn for Him, as one moumeth for his only 
son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in 
bitterness for his first born'* (Zech. 12:10). As Israel 
shall learn then the awfulness of their sin in rejecting and 
crucifying their Messiah, they shall be * ' troubled ' * indeed. 

75. Joseph acted toward his brethren in marvelous grace. 

''And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, 
I pray 3^ou. And they came near, And he said, I am 
Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now there- 
fore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold 
me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve 

life Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept 

upon them, and after that his brethren talked with him" 
(45:4, 5, 15). So shall it be when Israel is reconciled to 
Christ; "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to 
the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for 
sin and for uncleanness" (Zech. 13 : 1). Then shall Christ 
say to Israel, "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, 
but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath 
I hid My face from thee for a moment ; but with everlast- 
ing kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy 
Redeemer" (Is. 54:7, 8). 

76. Joseph was revealed as a Man of Compassion. 

"And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made 
himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud*' (45 : 
1-2). Seven times over we read of Joseph weeping. He 
wept when he listened to his brethren confessing their guilt 
(42 : 24) . He wept when he beheld Benjamin (43 : 30) . He 
wept when he made himself known to his brethren (45: 

Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 397 

1-2). He wept when his brethren were reconciled to him 
(45:15). He wept over his father Jacob (46:29). He 
wept at the death of his father (50 : 1 ) . And he wept when, 
later, his brethren questioned his love for them (50 : 15-17). 
How all this reminds us of the tenderheartedness of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, of whom we read so often, He was 
"moved with compassion,'' and twice that He **wept" — 
once at the graveside of Lazarus, and later over Jerusalem. 

77. Joseph revealed himself to Judah and his brethren, 
before he was made known to the rest of Jacobus household. 

So, too, we are told in Zech. 12 : 7, " The Lord also shall 
save the tents of Judah first." 

78. Joseph then sends for Jacob. 

"In Scripture, Judah stands for Judah and Benjamin 
considered together. You will note that it is Judah and 
Benjamin who are made prominent in the revelation of 
Joseph. Jacob in prophetic language signifies the Ten 
Tribes. Sending for Jacob and his household, in typical 
language, is sending for the Ten Tribes of Israel. Precisely 
as the type brings Judah before the self -disclosed Joseph, 
and then Jacob is brought into the land in the presence of 
Joseph, so the scriptures clearly teach us that after the 
Lord comes to repentant Judah and is received by them at 
Jerusalem, He will send for the remaining household of 
Jacob, for the lost and wandering tribes of Israel, to come 
into the land to own and greet him. ^ And they shall bring 
all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord, out of all 
nations' (Is. 66:20)"— Dr. Haldeman. 

79. Joseph's brethren go forth to proclaim his glory. 

'^ Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, 
thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all 

Egypt; come down unto me, tarry not And ye shall 

tell my father of all my glory in Egypt" (45 : 9, 13). In 
like manner, after Israel has been reconciled to Christ, they 
shall go forth to tell of the glories of their King : ''And I 
will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to 
Tarshish, Pul and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and 
Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, 
neither have seen My glory, and they shall declare My glory 
among the Gtentiles" (Is. 66:19). And again: ''And the 
remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as 

398 Gleanings in Genesis 

a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that 
tarrieth not for man" (Micah. 5:7). 

80. Joseph makes ready his chariot and goes forth to 
meet Jacob. 

'^And Joseph made ready his chariot , and went up to 
meet Jacob his father" (46:29). Says Dr. Haldeman, 
* ^ This is really the epiphany of Joseph. He reveals himself 
in splendor and Eingliness to his people. He meets Judah 
in Goshen first and then meets his f ather, the household of 
Jacob. This is a representation of the truth as we have al- 
ready seen it. It is the coming of Christ in His glory to 
meet Judah first, and then all Israel. Our attention is 
specially drawn to his appearing to the i>eople in chariots 
of glory. So of the greater Joseph we read, *For, behold, 
the Lord will come with fire, and tuith His chariots like a 
whirlwind' (Is. 66:15)." 

81. Joseph settles his brethren in a land of their own. 

'^And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country 
of Goshen ; and they had possessions therein^ and grew, and 
multiplied exceedingly" (47:27). Goshen was the best 
part of the land of Egypt (symbol of the world). As 
Pharaoh had said, '^The land of Egypt is before thee, in 
the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell ; 
in the land of Goshen let them dwell" (47:6). So Pal- 
estine, when restored to its pristine beauty and fertility, 
shall be ^ ' the best land " in all the earth ; and there, in the 
Millennium, shall Israel have ' ^ possessions ' ' and ' ' multiply 
exceedingly. * ' 

82. Joseph's brethren prostrate themselves before him as 
the Representative of God. 

^ ' And his brethren also went and fell before his face ; and 
they said, Behold we be thy servants. And Joseph said 
unto them, Fear not ; for (am) I in the place of Godt " (50 : 
18, 19). The prophetic dream of Joseph is realized. The 
brethren own Joseph's supremacy, and take the place of 
servants before him. So in the coming Day, all Israel shall 
fail down before the Lord Jesus Christ, and say, '^Lo, this 
is our God ; we have waited for Him, and He will save us ; 
this is the Lord ; we have waited for Him, we will be glad 
and rejoice in His salvation" (Is. 25:9). 

We close at the point from which we started. Joseph 

Joseph and His Brethren, Dispensationally Considered 399 

signifies '^Addition/' and Addition is Increase, and ''in- 
crease" is the very word used by the Holy Spirit to describe 
the dominant characteristic of the Kingdom of Him whom 
Joseph so wondrously foreshadowed. ''Of the increase of 
His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the 
throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it and to 
establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth 
even for ever'' (Is. 9:7). 


We have grouped together again the last nine chapters oi 
Genesis, which treat principally of Joseph and his brethren^ 
and have singled out from them the most prominent and 
significant of their typical teachings. In our last article, 
we contemplated the dispensational bearings of the type, 
and this is, no doubt, its primary application. But there is 
also a secondary one, one which we may term the evan- 
gelical, and it is this we shall now consider. Joseph here 
strikingly prefigures Christ as the Saviour of sinners, while 
his brethren accurately portray the natural condition of 
the ungodly, and in the experiences through which they 
passed as their reconciliation with Joseph was finally 
effected, we have a lovely Gospel representation of the un- 
saved being brought from death unto life. Continuing our 
previous enumeration, note. 

83. Joseph's brethren dwelt in a land wherein wm no 

They dwelt in Canaan, and we are told, '^the famine was 
in the land of Canaan" (42: 5). There was nothing there 
to sustain them. To continue where they were meant death, 
therefore did Jacob bid his sons go down to Egypt and 
buy from there ''that we may live, and not die" (42:2). 
Such is the condition which obtains in the place where the 
ungodly dwell. Alienated from the life of Gkxl, they are 
living in a world which is smitten with a Spiritual famine, 
in a world which furnishes no food for the Soul. The ex- 
perience of every unregenerate person is that of the Prod- 
igal Son — there is nothing for him but the husks which the 
swine feed upon. 

84. Joseph's brethren wished to pay for what they re* 

''And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy com in 
Egypt" (42:3). It is striking to observe the prominence 
of this feature here. The word "buy" occurs no less than 
five times in the first ten verses of this chapter. Clearly, 
they had no other thought of securing the needed food than 


Joseph and His Brethren, Evangelically Considered 401 

by purchasing it. Such is ever the conception of the natural 
man. His own mind never rises to the level of receiving a